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Cristiano Ronaldo Faces Charges of 14.7 Million Euro Tax Evasion

14 Juin 2017

Prosecutors in Spain allege the Real Madrid player defrauded the government of about $16 million in taxes from 2011 to 2014.

He is accused of evading tax of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) from 2011 to 2014.

The prosecutor, who cites in his complaint the recent judgment of the Spanish Supreme Court against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, according to Marca, stress that Ronaldo has taken advantage of a corporate structure created in 2010 to hide the revenues generated in Spain from his image rights.

Real Madrid has declined to comment on the star's legal situation.

The prosecutor also said that Ronaldo "intentionally" did not declare income of 28.4 million euros ($31.8 million) made from the cession of image rights from 2015-20 to another company located in Spain.

Documents suggesting that Ronaldo had avoided tax on income by holding them in offshore accounts were leaked in December.

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Ronaldo 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.

Argentina worldwide and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09- million-euro fine a year ago for tax fraud.

Whatever Leo Messi can do, Cristiano Ronaldo can do better!

Ronaldo is the latest high-profile soccer player to run afoul of Spain's tax man.

The state prosecutor alleges that Ronaldo used a shell company in the Virgin Islands as a smokescreen to hide his riches from the taxman.

The prison term will likely be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years. But as the financial crisis bit deeper, that exemption was lifted, paving the way for the cases.