Cristiano Ronaldo is facing £13m tax fraud charge. Spain’s prosecutor’s office filed a lawsuit against Cristiano Ronaldo for allegedly defrauding Spanish authorities of €14.7m between 2011 and 2014.
Ronaldo, who is from Portugal, became a Spanish tax resident in January 2010 and he opted to follow the Spanish tax regime that applies to foreigners working in Spain. Prosecutors alleged that Ronaldo had defrauded the tax authorities of €1.4m in 2011, €1.7m in 2012, €3.2m in 2013 and €8.5m in 2014. Real Madrid has declined to comment and calls to the agency representing Ronaldo, Gestifute, went unanswered.
Ronaldo was previously reported stating to El Chiringuito TV: “I am very relaxed about it. I know that these things can be resolved with the best decisions. So I am good, I can say from the depth of my heart, looking straight into the camera. When you do things well you can go to best feeling relaxed. And I sleep well always.”
In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said Ronaldo had knowingly used a ‘business structure’ created in 2010 to hide his income in Spain from his image rights. This makes it a ‘voluntary’ failure to comply with his tax obligations in Spain. These accusations are based on a report from Spain’s tax agency. The statement also said Ronaldo used a so called shell company in the Virgin Islands to ‘create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s Tax Office.’ While, Ronaldo’s agency has been reported claiming that he has been up to date with his taxes. Last month, tax officials said Ronaldo adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra 6 million euros ($6.7m) in 2014.
Similarly, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was convicted of tax fraud for unpaid income from image rights last year, but he is not expected to serve prison time since it his first offense. Now its Europe’s leading soccer player who helped Real Madrid to win back-to-back Champion League titles and also had a huge contribution to assist Portugal to win last year’s European Championship.