Rafi "refaelamit" Amit Ordered to Pay Tax In Israel

Israel born high stakes regular Rafi "refaelamit" Amit has won millions of dollars over the years both live and online, primarily living in Las Vegas. However, he has just been successfully taken to court by the Israeli Tax Authority for back payments on income tax on his earnings for the year 2007.

Amit, who has won millions of dollars at both PokerStars as refaelamit and Full Tilt as howisitfeellike as well as being a feared live highstakes player and the winner of two WSOP bracelets, was ordered to pay income tax on earnings for the year 2007 after the Income Tax Authority's claim that Amit was an Israeli resident for the years under question, despite the fact that he didn’t meet the minimum number of days in the country to qualify as a resident.

Judge Harry Kirsch ruled that Amit should be considered an Israeli resident, justifying his ruling by citing Amit’s extended visits to Israel, the fact that he didn’t have a definite place of residence abroad and regular transfers of his poker winnings to Israel. It is believed that in total, Amit sent back up to $5m to his parents in Israel. Any earnings made prior to 2007 since the statute of limitations ran out for previous years, as well as for 2008.

Although the tax authority demanded 2.5m shekels ($650k) from Amit's 2007 earnings of 4.2m shekels ($1.1m), Amit successfully argued that much of the 4.2m was from previous years and that in 2007 he only earned 1.4m. As such he was ordered to pay 50% of that to the tax authority, minus the $68,000 he had already paid to American tax authorities which amounted to 320,000 shekels. He was also ordered to pay a modest 12,500 shekels in court costs.


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