There are more and more prominent figures in world soccer who have been accused and convicted for tax evasion. Find out here who we are talking about
After nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid and signed a contract with Juventus of Italy. This occurred approximately a month and a half after the player won for the third time in a row and for the fifth time in his career the Champions League, immediately after which he said: "it was nice to play at Real Madrid." About the departure of Cristiano from Real Madrid, the president of the Spanish League, Javier Tebas, said that Spain's high tax rate contributed to the decision of the Portuguese player and that the country's fiscal situation is preventing the growth of its professional soccer league.
The words of Thebes are not a surprise if is considering the fiscal problems that have had prominent soccer players in the Spanish league. Here you can find some cases:
Accused of evading 14.7 million euros
In 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo was accused by the Spanish tax authorities of evading € 14.7 million (US $ 16.5 million) between 2011 and 2014, corresponding to image rights. After a year of conflict between the player and the Spanish tax agency, ESPN reported in June 2018 that both parties had reached an agreement. According to the sports news media, Ronaldo accepted four different offenses of Spanish tax laws, corresponding to a payment of €18.8 million (US $ 21.73 million) and a two-year prison sentence (six months for each offense).
This does not mean that the Portuguese soccer player will go to jail. According to the Spanish law, given that this is his first offense, Ronaldo will spend the time of his sentence on parole.
Messi's case is still pending
Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi, another Spanish star, has been within the eye of the fiscal hurricane since 2013. That year, he and his father, Jorge Horacio, were accused of tax evasion for approximately €4.16 million (US $ 5.5 million). Forbes reported that the Messi used a series of ghost companies in tax havens located in Brazil and Uruguay to evade taxes corresponding to contracts related to the player's image rights, which were signed since 2005.
Shortly after the accusation was made public and after having denied any intention to break the tax laws, father and son paid to the Spanish authorities a sum of €5 million (US $ 6.5 million) as a "corrective payment". This did not prevent the Barcelona star and his father from being called to trial in 2015 and sentenced a year later to 21 months in prison for tax evasion. Last year, the Messi appealed their case. This was, according to Forbes, in the reduction of the sentence of Jorge Horacio Messi to 15 months in prison, while the duration of the sentence of his son was maintained.
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A long list
The list of prominent players who have been accused of tax evasion in Spain includes Javier Mascherano, who accepted charges in 2015 and was sentenced to pay a fine of €815,000 (US $ 880,078) and 12 months in prison. There is also Radamel Falcao, who in July of this year was sentenced to pay a fine of €9 million (US $ 10.5 million) and 16 months in prison for having evaded taxes of €822,609 (US $ 950,697) in 2012 and €4.8 million (US $ 5.6). million) in 2013. All this even though, as reported by ESPN, in 2017 he paid €8.2 million (US $ 9.5 million) to the Spanish tax authorities.
Although James Rodriguez has not been officially accused by the Spanish tax agency, according to the magazine Der Spiegel, since the end of July the player is under investigation for tax evasion during the time he played for Real Madrid.
The end of the Beckham Law means the beginning of big taxes
According to the BBC, in 2010 Spain became an economic paradise for soccer players, a constant tax threat. This is because, since that year, Beckham Law ceased applying for salaries greater than €600,000 (US $ 697,000), which made tax inspectors more inquisitive with soccer players. The Beckham Law is a law that allows foreign workers to be taxed as non-residents, paying almost half of the taxes paid by Spaniards with profits of six figures or more.
However, the evasion of taxes by soccer players is nothing new or something that only happens in Spain. In a report on the subject, the newspaper AS of Spain recalled the case of Maradona, who was sentenced to pay €39 million (US $ 45 million) to the Italian tax authorities for tax evasion during his time in Napoli. This sentence was suspended in 2017, more than 25 years after the fraud, after the seizure of assets of the former Argentine soccer player each time he stepped on Italian ground for his unwillingness to pay what was required.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Diego Bogotá
Translated from "5 futbolistas que fueron acusados de evadir impuestos"