Sasson: On every trip I made to Russia, my Russian colleagues would ask me to bring them presents on my next trip, from medications to household supplies. These presents were clearly business expenses, and quite large ones. But how could I write them off on my Swiss tax report? I brought the question up with my tax consultant, and he advised me to move my offices to another Swiss canton, named Zug. The city of Zug is a center for businesses that wish to avoid confrontations with the tax authority, he explained. Registering a business there saves them from the calamity of tax payments. We did as he advised.
For a few years it really worked, until one day my tax consultant called me on the phone. and said he had some bad news for us. He got a phone call from the tax authorities, and the officer said that next week they are coming to inspect my office. He added that the officer is a zealous anti-Semite, and when he called my consultant he said, “I will take care of these Iranian Jews!”
Our consultant said to him: “Watch your language, or I will report your anti-Semitic statements to your bosses!”
The officer uttered an apology, but those were only words. When he came to inspect us, he did not accept any of our Russia expenses, and demanded an unreasonable sum as tax, one that was completely beyond our ﬁnancial ability. With great effort we ﬁnally managed to reach an agreement with the Swiss tax administration, and pay that tax in installments. When we ﬁnished all the payments, we received another astronomic bill from the tax authority, for the interest on our tax debts. We had no choice but to pay that, too.
Anti-semitism takes many forms. The Muslims and Assyrians in Iran took our assets in violent raids, this tax official took them with legal excuses.