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'Who likes to pay tax? You don't, I don't': IMF chief

01 october 2015, 14:15

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, does not enjoy paying taxes and made that clear Wednesday at a conference in Washington, AFP reports.

"Who likes to pay tax? You don't, I don't, nobody does," said the IMF managing director, in response to a question about an increase in Greece's value-added tax (VAT) called for by the country's creditors, including the IMF.

Like other employees of international bodies, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, Lagarde is exempt from paying tax on her IMF income.

In a number of countries the IMF has rescued, it often recommends an increase in value-added tax as the easiest way to replenish depleted coffers, which has the added benefit of being less susceptible to dodging than income taxes.

In Greece, the government hiked VAT in July from 13 percent to 23 percent on a wide range of goods and services.

The Washington-based IMF caused a furor in 2013 by calling for an exceptional 10 percent tax on private wealth in Europe to help close gaps in public deficits.

Faced with an outcry in business circles, the Fund rapidly reversed itself and dropped the recommendation.

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