Osek Mursheh, Zair, or Teum Mas?

Jessi wrote in a comment to a previous post. I will use this post to respond:

Hi Gideon!

My name is Jessi and I have come across your website before but today when searching for information on specific atzma’i status, I noticed with pleasant surprise that you have me in your blog roll :) I know I have been in contact before with Jeremy over at Shomer Shkalim, but had no idea that you would also include me! So thanks….I do need to really get on top of publishing more. Really – I’ve been beyond horrible at posting.

Anyways – I have a question that you may or may not be able to answer for me:

I myself also am a freelancer, however as far as I know, I’m not any one status or the other. I have always just been referred to as an atzmait. I have a “file” open up at the tax office but whenever I gained a new client, I would get their business number and would be issued a teum mas. This has always been sufficient for what I have done.

However, I have a new company that wants to hire me on and they asked me to have an osek mershuh status – which from what you have found out and from what I have been told, I need to earn at least 64,000nis/year in order to qualify for this status and while it would be nice to do so, that is nowhere near what I will be making with this company – in fact, in a year, I would only project to make about 18,000nis.

So my problem lies here – this new company would like me to issue receipts to them (which is understandable) – I normally if a client asks, just write one off Excel or some other billing software I’m using at the time and then send it in and keep copies for my records. However, now I’m worried – do I actually need an official receipt book with my tax status on it? Or can I just purchase one from Office Depot and be done with it?

Also, this project is only about 5 months in scope, so I don’t know if since I will be under the “radar” as people have been calling it, is it really worth it to go through the whole process of opening a new file?

Thanks!

Oh and I shall also be adding you to my blog roll in reciprocation.

Gidon responds:

if your potential client wants you to work, then they (or specifically, their accounting dept) will get over the fact that you are an osek zair and not mursheh, meaning that they do not pay you ma’am
I’m not any one status or the other. I have always just been referred to as an atzmait. I have a “file” open up at the tax office
The MAAM tax office gives you a certificate (see mine:-): https://atzmai.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/gidon-ariel-osek-patur.gif ) that says in capital letters if you are a mursheh or a zair. If you have neither, you are neither! So if your direct charging work this year (not counting the clients who take you on payroll and do a teum mas) comes out to less than about 60,000 NIS this year, then you can open an Osek Zair account.
You might consider working through Yeul Sachir or similar for this project, but I doubt it will be more beneficial for you than if you open an osek zair tik as above.
So my problem lies here – this new company would like me to issue receipts to them (which is understandable) – I normally if a client asks, just write one off Excel or some other billing software I’m using at the time and then send it in and keep copies for my records. However, now I’m worried – do I actually need an official receipt book with my tax status on it? Or can I just purchase one from Office Depot and be done with it?
As I wrote elsewhere in this blog (insert link here, lazybones), it seems the simplest solution for us oskim ze’eerim is to buy the humungous Hadar “pinkas kabalot leosek zair” which has about 400 receipts for about 63 NIS and simply write the following six items on each one, by hand, at the time of its issue:
your name/name of your business
your phone number
your teudat zehut number (the number of your business license)
date of issue
the name of your client
the scope of the work you are providing this receipt for
total charged
your signature
Also, this project is only about 5 months in scope, so I don’t know if since I will be under the “radar” as people have been calling it, is it really worth it to go through the whole process of opening a new file?
If your client requires a receipt, then your choice is either open a tik or work through Yeul Sachir or similar.
Good luck!
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7 Responses to Osek Mursheh, Zair, or Teum Mas?

  1. Noam Ivri says:

    Dear Gidon:

    I have been reading your blog about succeeding as an “Atzma’i” for advice about my situation. I am a 24 year old recent oleh from Boca Raton, FL now living in Jerusalem. I am in the midst of my enlistment process for the IDF, having already hope to be drafted in the summer.

    In the meantime, I’ve been hired as an outside contracted translator for a consulting firm based in Tel Aviv, on a part-time basis. My employer says that her company can only pay me if I open an “Osek Za’ir” file, because I am not a company employee and they do not want me to be entitled for full employee benefits. Researching your site and speaking to other people, it seems she meant an “Osek Patur”. I intend to work at this position until my army draft, no more than 4 or 5 months. Moreover, the total salary I earn won’t amount to more than 20,000 shekels.

    I’ve spoken to some employment specialists from Nefesh B’Nefesh, and a few Jerusalem-based accountants about my status and which option of registering as an independent seeks me best. The consensus among them seems to be that I should open an Osek Patur of the “third category”- as an atzma’i- with a Koach Adam company. (One account told me to look up a Jerusalem-based company called Oleh Sapir in the white pages, which I couldn’t find) According to them, I open a file with this company, and my employer sends my paychecks to this firm, who takes a small commission to handle my case.
    They maintain that the advantages of this option include: easy opening and closing my file as an Osek Patur, no taxation on American assets, and no hassle opening my own Osek Patur at varius bureaucratic agencies while I am being interviewed by the army agencies to secure my placement.

    I am still confused about how to proceed, as I am in the dark with the Israeli tax system and bureaucratic institutions. I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me about how to go about this.

    PurIm Same’ah!

  2. Gidon Ariel says:

    Noam, I kicked up your comment, it is the next post.

  3. Ilana says:

    Hi Gidon,

    This is Ilana from the CIWI group – thank you for responding to my email and directing me to your website. Perhaps you can advise. I am pretty much in the same position as Jessi (in the above post), meaning that I have declared my atzmai status to Mas Hachnasa and Bituach Leumi, but I am not registered as an Osek Patur with Ma’am. This is because I currently work for only one company, and this particular company does not require that I give them a receipt when billing. However, I spoke to another colleague recently, who said that this sort of situation sounds a bit fishy and that handing out receipts and keeping detailed notes is the best way to ‘cover yourself’ in case the tax authority or anyone else sometime in the future decides to investigate you. She suggested that it is best to open a tik as ‘osek patur’, and of course, if I plan to work with other companies in the future, I would probably have to take this next step. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this.
    Thanks,
    Ilana

  4. Gidon Ariel says:

    Hi Ilana,

    I cannot see where the question starts.

    According to all I have learned, and have taught in this blog, becoming legal in the business world includes stops at the VAT office and the Mas Hachnasa office.

    If you are going to gross less than 60K NIS in one calendar year, then you are an osek ptur and you have nothing to worry about from VAT, qand pretty much nothing to worry about from Mas Hachnasa either.

    Just do it!:-)

  5. […] Osek Mursheh, Zair, or Teum Mas? January 2010 4 comments 3 […]

  6. Adam Ehad says:

    Hello, I read this blogpost a while ago and it occurs to me now that you might just be able to help me…I’ve been looking around desperately for the contact details or at the very least the address of the mas hachnasa in tel aviv or petah tikvah…i just cant find the info, so im taking this desperate step – if you know where the offices are or have their number, could you post the information here? It would be great if you could…

    • Gidon Ariel says:

      Adam –
      a pleasure.
      Petach Tikva
      Hitadrut street 26
      03-9399444 or /242

      I know that different suburbs of Jerusalem are affiliated with different offices, so where you live might determine if you go to Petach Tikva, Tel Aviv or other. Feel free to email me or post a comment with the city/yishuv you live in and I will check which branch is yours. On https://www.shaam.gov.il/ps-yeshuv/, but I agree it can be a hard site to navigate .

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