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IMF in Athens: Driving Large and Tax Free?

 There is a question here, whether Greece’s lenders IMF escaped paying Value Added Tax after importing the car they go around and control the country fiscal discipline. Yorgos Anatolakis, MP from coalition government partner, the far right-LAOS, filed a question at the Greek Parliament addressed to the Ministry of Infrastructure and  Environment.

“According to press reports this car was imported as conventional and not armored one with the effect that the state did not received the relevant V.A.T. The revenues loss is between €23,000 and €92.000. The above fact is outraging against the Greek people, when they ask us fiscal discipline,  income cuts and combating tax evasion, and they [IMF] are the first to escape from their obligations” Anatolakis said. (source:

To tell you the truth the report and the question are a bit confusing and it doesn’t make clear whether the IMF imported the car or it had it armored here. Nevertheless there is something irregular here and more thousands euro were simply not paid.

Much to my knowledge IMF guys (Poul Thomsen, Bob Traa) are exempted from paying taxes here but apparently not for importing exclusive tanks … sorry! … armored cars. Hey guys, go to the nearest tax office and shell out a couple of thousands of warm euros…

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  1. When the UN imports cars into a country they are totally tax exempt. And no, they don’t have to be armoured or 4WD… Although in practice most are 4WD and huge. As the IMF (and Worldbank) is de-facto part of the UN I take it their dealings go under the same umbrella. They probably have also special passports, like UN-personnel has. And in almost all countries those people can buy cars and all kinds of goods tax free. That’s part of the deal. I know for a fact that foreign troops stationed in Germany, for example don’t pay VAT or any other tax on their private cars nor on fuel for that matter.
    And what again was that thing about the courtesy cars for Greek MPs? I take it they do not pay tax for that? But I am sure Mr. Georgos Anatolakis has waived his right? Right???

  2. I’m sure the IMF has diplomatic plates and privileges. Frustrating it may be, but I’m sure it’s legal.