Mar 13, 2018

Cash is no longer king

A short while ago a law was proposed to minimize the use of cash in the market, thus giving the authorities more control over issues like money laundering and the like. This is a trend happening in governments around the world.

That law proposal passed last night.

cash is, officially, no longer king.

The law will go into effect on January 1, 2019, and it will apply equally to open checks 6 months later on June 1, 2019, as these checks have many similarities to cash.

Some of the details of the new law:

  • Breaking the new law and using cash or check above the limitations will be forgiven for the first 9 months after the law goes into effect, to give the public time to acclimate to the new rules
  • any transaction worth more than 11,000nis for a business or 50,000nis for private - cannot be paid in cash, even partially.
  • using cash to pay salaries, donations, gifts or loans: if the transaction is worth more than 11,000nis with no family relation, or 50,000nis with family relation, cash is out, even for part of the arrangement.
  • open checks and third party checks are not to be used. The bank will not accept checks that are open, or third party checks with sums greater than 10,000nis that have already been transferred through more than one party unless all the names and id numbers are listed on the check.
  • businesses violating the law will suffer financial sanctions. Private individuals will receive criminal fines.

The law passed its final readings in Knesset 49-9.
source: Haredim10

I am not sure how they will enforce this, at least at a private level. Businesses seem easier, via the tax authorities and audits, but private donations or gifts can easily be split up into multiple donations, each being under the limit. Maybe if they discover  multiple donations or gifts at just under 11k within a certain time frame they will consider it a violation.

Initially I thought this would be very damaging to free loan gemachs, and eventually it will be, but it seems MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) has found a way to somewhat protect the Gemachs.

According to Kikar, banks and financial institutions under the supervision of the money laundering authorities will be exempt from this law. Gafni succeeded in getting the gemachs included in this exemption for a period of two years, even though they are not supervised by the relevant authorities. Gafni wanted them completely exempt, like banks and other institutions, but compromised on a two year exemption. I am sure when the time comes up, Gafni will make sure to get it extended.

Either way, prepare for the new world of limited cash.

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  1. “No Cash Accepted” trend is worrying central bankers: privacy, seniors, the poor and cash infrastructure getting hit hardest. Digital and mobile payments are skyrocketing. Sweden’s the most cashless society. No cash at most branch banks, many shops, museums, restaurants. Great for tax collectors. 25% of Swedes paid bills in cash in 2017 down from 63% in 2013. Swedes contemplate issuing e-krona. Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves warns, “(W)e are facing structural changes in areas that have previously been stable.” Others report 34% of Americans and 21% of Europeans report they rarely or never carry cash.

  2. BTW, I was told by a cleaning lady she gets paid in cash by woman whose husband runs a gemach. Wife keeps enelope stuffed with gemach cash and pays for her help, groceries, etc from the undeclared $. Donors give cash and can get a receipt for 2xs amt of donated cash. Is that why Gafni wants them exempted? $ talks & bs walks....


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