Sunday, 10 June 2012

IMF's Christine Lagarde: 'I Don't Pay Taxes, But You Should'

Politics can be merciless, and the IMF is political even if it’s not a country. IMF chief Christine Lagarde suggested in an interview with UK’s Guardian that the Greeks should pay their taxes. It turns out Ms. Lagarde—legitimately—doesn’t pay them herself.
In fact, her IMF salary of $467,940 plus an $83,760 additional allowance is not subject to any taxes. See Christine Lagarde, Scourge of Tax Evaders, Pays No Tax.
No taxes is the norm for most United Nations employees covered by a convention on diplomatic relations signed by most nations. If you look at salaries, those working for the IMF, World Bank, and UN can stretch their dollars.
As for Ms. Lagarde, gaffe notwithstanding, she is entitled to the IMF benefit. Perhaps she is also entitled to tell others to pay their taxes. Still, the Greeks may be understandably sensitive these days. They surely would prefer Ms. Lagarde to say something more like: “pay your tax unless you have legal and authorized ways not to.” 

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