Your Tax Dodge of the Day: Chopping Cars in Half and Reassembling Them
August 8, 2011
One of the problems with living in what used to be the Communist paradise of the Eastern Bloc is the fact that they don't really get this whole “capitalism” thing, so the taxes on luxury goods like foreign cars (i.e. cars that actually work and that you would want to be seen driving) are through the roof. How bad are the taxes? Usually you'll be paying at least two to three times the market value of the car you want to bring in...and that's if you're lucky and spread some bribe money around.
Enter shady companies that have figured out a loophole in the law: the taxes only apply to whole cars. If you, say, chop a car in half, as far as the bureaucracy is concerned, it's not a car. It's a big pile of car parts. So, guess how that guy with the gold chain and the track suit in Moscow got his Ferrari?
Of course, chopping a car in half is the most expensive, luxurious option. Essentially, these cars have to be bought, usually in Florida, broken down, stuffed in a shipping container, sent across the ocean, and cleared through various customs ports, and doing that with a car, even a chopped up one, is expensive. Often these companies will literally disassemble the entire car, ship all the parts of, and then a certified technician there reassembles it piece by piece.
But, hey, it still beats paying taxes. We wonder if we can get away with this one to avoid the excise tax...