Spanish prosecutors sue Cristiano Ronaldo for tax fraud

The prosecutor's office accused the Real Madrid forward of evading €14.7 million in tax by using a business structure created in 2010 to hide his image rights income in Spain.

Photo by: AFP Archive
Photo by: AFP Archive

Ronaldo follows in the steps of FC Barcelona forward and Argentina star Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offence last year.

The Spanish prosecutor’s office in Madrid filed a lawsuit against football star Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly evading €14.7 million ($16.48 million) in tax through offshore companies between 2011 and 2014.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement that the Real Madrid forward had knowingly used a business structure created in 2010 to allegedly hide his image rights income in Spain.

"The accused took advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities, which is a 'voluntary' and 'conscious' breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain," it said.

Real Madrid declined to comment and calls to the agency representing Ronaldo, Gestifute, went unanswered.

The world's highest paid athlete, according to Forbes magazine, follows in the steps of FC Barcelona forward and Argentina star Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offence last year, although the sum involved was allegedly smaller.

Ronaldo, who is from Portugal, became a Spanish tax resident in January 2010, and in November 2011 opted to follow the Spanish tax regime that applies to foreigners working in Spain, the statement said.

He should have paid a tax rate of 24 percent in 2011, and 24.75 percent in the three following years, it said.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies