Tax-dodger Ronaldo’s  plea-bargain gets nod

FORMER Real Madrid midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to a two-year prison sentence, after filtering up to 14.7m euros in taxes through front companies during his time with the La Liga club.

Although it was confirmed in July that he would accept the penalty, after his lawyer sought a deal with prosecutors, Madrid’s provincial court has, provisionally, given the

go-ahead and will ratify the plea-bargain result in a month.

The Portuguese team captain, who moved to Torino-based Juventus earlier this autumn, has already refunded the tax he “evaded”, supposedly.

But the sum was reduced to 5.7m euros on appeal, and his lawyer applied for the jail term to be substituted for a 375,000m-euro fine.

And, as this is his first offence and the sentence does not exceed two years, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will not have to be imprisoned.

Solicitor José Antonio Chiclán is arranging for Ronaldo to testify on 14th January by video conference, instead of travelling to the Spanish capital, a deal he also achieved for his other football client, Fábio Coentrão.

Ronaldo had set up companies, through which to invoice royalties for his image rights, where his name and face are used in advertising.

That was recommended by his accountants during his time playing for Manchester United as a young man.

This structure had been legal in the UK, and Ronaldo was unaware, when he moved to Madrid, that this was not the case under Spanish tax law.

He is among a number of celebrities facing criminal charges for discrepancies with the Spanish tax authorities, purely through sum involved.

Where the sum of tax “evaded” exceeds 120,000 euros, whether deliberately or in good faith, it becomes a criminal offence in Spain, automatically. But below this sum, it is a civil offence and the taxpayer will normally be expected to pay a fine on top of the sum owed, plus interest.

But if the outstanding sum is extremely low, such as for the average, self-employed worker, fines may not even be levied, other than possible late-payment charges.

As celebrities of Ronaldo’s magnitude report earnings that, by default, will involve tax bills well in excess of 120,000 euros, those not paying their dues, even if they believed their situation to be above board, could still face suspended jail sentences at least, in addition to fines and interest.


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Posted by on Dec 20 2018. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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