Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has come under fire from the Spanish tax authorities for allegedly failing to declare over €14.7 million ($16.4 million) in revenue derived from image rights. Cristiano is accused of knowingly using a "business structure" to hide income made from his image rights.
"Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown since his arrival at Real Madrid CF, in July 2009, a clear will to fulfill all his tax obligations", said the club on its website.
Spanish prosecutors have claimed that Ronaldo declared €11.5m of earnings between 2011 and 2014 but actually pocketed €31.5m more.
According to the accusation, after signing his contract with Real Madrid, Ronaldo "purported to" cede his image rights to a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven in the Caribbean.
It said that the Real Madrid number seven had not hidden any income from the tax authorities or defrauded Spain.
There was no attempt to evade taxes, Gestifute said.
And finally, they accuse him of "voluntarily" refusing to include 28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.
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"Throughout all of the above mentioned years, CR never had a tax problem, contrary to what the Spanish Prosecutors insinuate".
Lionel Messi's successful tax evasion conviction helped to pave the way for prosecutors to launch a case against the Real Madrid forward.
"The laws applicable to Cristiano Ronaldo are the Personal Income Tax Law and the Impatriots Law".
"Ceding image rights to (Tollin Associates) was completely unnecessary and its only objective was to create a screen to hide the totality of his image rights income from the Spanish tax authorities", the statement said.
In the indictment, the prosecution alleged that Ronaldo had evaded tax "in a conscious and voluntary manner".
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