Maybe you've heard about this already, and maybe this is new information for you. There is a reverse-tax benefit in Israel for low-income families. It's called the "Maanak Avodah" or "Working Grant".
(There is more detailed information below.)
Please don't miss out on this if you qualify - apply as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment later. It won't take much of your time to apply, and you can do it now, BEFORE YOU FORGET!
Updated information for the 2016 grant:
Who can apply for this grant?
You can apply for this grant if:
1. You were employed or self employed
2. You were 23 years of age or older, with minor children, or 55 years of age or above, without minor children
3. You did not own more than 50% of a property or rights to a property in the 2016 tax year, other than your primary residence
4. If you have one or two children, or are age 55+ without children, and your average monthly income falls between 2,050 and 6,090 you may be eligible for this grant. If you are a single parent of 1-2 children (with custody of your minor children), average monthly income must fall between 1,260 and 9,330 NIS
5. If you have 3 or more children, and your average monthly income falls between 2,070 NIS and 6,766 NIS, you may be eligible for this grant. If you are a single parent of 3 or more children (with custody), you may qualify if your income is between 1,260 and 11,400 NIS per month.
How do you apply?
Online, if you have applied at least once in the last TWO years.
If you have not applied in the last 2 years, all you have to do is go to the post office and answer a few questions. BE SURE to bring your teudat zehut (ID card) and either your checkbook or an "ishur" from your bank that you have an account with them. Please keep any paperwork you receive at the post office and/or in the mail.
If you have questions after you've applied, or to check the status of your application, you can call *4954 or 1-222-4954 or 02-565-6400 to speak with the Tax Authority.
How much can you expect to receive?
The amount you receive will vary depending on your circumstances, and if you qualify, will vary from 20 shekels/month to 720 shekels/month (240 shekels yearly to 8,640 shekels yearly). (These amounts are based upon older information)
Your spouse's income may affect your eligibility, as may various other factors.
I hope this helps some of you out there! It's worth it to check if you are eligible. (If you're not eligible, that's not a bad thing, really. I know some of you complained to me last year that you were not eligible, but that means you are earning more money than the people this program is supposed to help.)
AND, GET THIS: right now the system says you can apply for either 2015
or 2016 grants online. So for those of you who missed the 2015 deadline,
you may still be able to apply! If you have never applied for this
grant before, you can call Mas Hachnasa and request an extension - call
*4954 and ask to apply for the ma'anak avodah late -- "liftoach pniyah
l'maanak avodah b'ichur". You may be able to get them to let you apply
Please share this information with your friends and family who may benefit from it!