By Dow Jones Business News,
December 20, 2013, 09:21:00 AM EDT
By Nektaria Stamouli and Friedrich Geiger
Two German carmakers are alleged to have evaded tax in Greece, a Greek law enforcement official said Friday.
"Two German automotives have been checked up to now and it has been found that they sell their cars at extremely low
prices to their Greek sales organization, in order to avoid the taxes," said the official of the financial crimes squad
SDOE. He declined to name the two companies, but said the companies could be charged with smuggling.
A Daimler AG (DAI.XE) spokeswoman confirmed investigations at a Greek Mercedes-Benz unit. The company's transfer
pricing policy complies with all Greek and German tax requirements, she said.
The Greek state's losses from the tax evasion are estimated at 200,000 euros($272,000), the SDOE official said. The
sales organizations don't pass on the low prices to Greek car buyers "and the only one gaining are the companies
themselves," he said.
For example, a car's value at customs was EUR20,000 while it was supposed to be EUR28,000. This means that the company
gains more than EUR4,000 in each of these cars as the tax is about 60%, the official said.
A BMW AG (BMW.XE) spokesman said his company's transfer prices comply with international rules and European law. He
declined to provide additional comment, pointing to the ongoing investigations.
The probe was ordered by a financial prosecutor and all automotive companies will be checked, the SDOE official said.
A report is expected to be delivered by the end of 2013 to the financial prosecutor, who will then decide on any further
action. SDOE has already contacted its counterparts in Germany to help them with their investigation.
An spokesman for Adam Opel AG wasn't immediately available for comment.
(Ilka Kopplin and Nico Schmidt contributed to this story.)
Write to email@example.com and Friedrich Geiger at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.