Supermodel Bar Refaeli ordered to pay MILLIONS in 'dodged' tax after lying about living with ex boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio in AmericaMay 14, 2019
GLAMOROUS supermodel Bar Refaeli has been ordered by a court to pay MILLIONS in “dodged” tax after lying about living with ex-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio in America.
The 33-year-old was accused of trying to conceal earnings from tax authorities in Israel by claiming she was abroad with the film star a decade ago, say reports.
Ms Refaeli has spent the past year trying to convince a court that between 2009 and 2010 she lived in Hollywood with DiCaprio, says The Times.
However, she was ordered to pay £1.7million in the multi-million shekel tax case, according to last month’s verdict – which was made public by Lod District Court, Lod, on Sunday.
The court ruled that she must pay eight million shekels in taxes and another 120,000 shekels (£26,000) in court fees.
The Times explains that the case hinged on whether Israel had been one of Ms Refaeli's main residences during a period in which she was raking in millions from fashion campaigns across the world.
She had claimed that she was living full time in California.
But officials compiled a dossier showing otherwise – containing information on her financial activity and accounts from neighbours that placed her in Israel for much of that period.
There was also evidence provided from Israeli national health fund records, in which Ms Refaeli was insured, showing she had bought medicine using its prescriptions in 2009 and received unspecified treatment that year and in 2010.
DICAPRIO DATED REFAELI
The court in Lod accepted that she had treated Israel as "a centre of her life" and spent enough days there in each year to make her liable for taxation.
Its verdict slammed her version of events as “evasive”.
The court also said that the model’s claim that rent for her luxury apartment in Tel Aviv was paid without her knowledge was "contrary to common sense", The Times adds.
She dated the Titanic star, 44, on and off, from 2005 to 2011 – with their relationship prompting many headlines.
Neither DiCaprio, nor his representatives, testified to the court about the nature of their relationship – or confirmed whether he and Ms Refaeli had lived together in the US a decade ago.
After her relationship with DiCaprio ended in 2011, Ms Refaeli has since married Adi Ezra, an Israeli businessman, with whom she has two daughters.
The Times of Israel reports that her legal team had told the judge that she lived permanently abroad from 2009-2010, and should thus pay no income tax in Israel.
But the court ruled that Ms Refaeli was not considered a foreign resident under Israeli law, and must cover the huge tax bill she received in June 2018.
The published verdict said that she was found to have lived in Israel for 185 days during 2009, and 131 days the following year.
Ms Refaeli had also told US tax authorities that she was a resident of Israel.
The court papers said: “At the beginning of the period, Refaeli’s parents’ home in Hod Hasharon was a permanent home, and after that her permanent home was a rented apartment in the Yoo Towers [in Tel Aviv].
“In the last months of the period in question, Refaeli moved to another rented apartment in the W Towers, that was only for her use.”
The court said in its verdict that both Tel Aviv developments had paid for the model’s rent to help publicise that she was living in them.
The judge added that, because of her “evasive version… it was difficult to give it full confidence.”
Ms Refaeli’s lawyers said they would appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court.
They told the Ynet news website in April that the Lod court ruling “ignored basic facts” in her case.
Ms Refaeli is due to co-present the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
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