July 14 – Monaco’s much-vaunted Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, suspected of tax evasion in Spain, has paid back €8.2 million to Spanish tax authorities, according to agencies and the Spanish media.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United forward is suspected of failing to declare €5.6 million of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while he was at Atletico Madrid.
Reports said the 31-year-old will be able to reclaim the sum if he is eventually cleared of the payment which includes interest on the original amount.
Falcao is alleged to have defrauded Spanish authorities through a network of shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Republic of Ireland, Colombia and Panama to avoid paying his rightful share of tax.
He has not denied the existence of these companies but has said he had nothing to pay for 2013, arguing that he was no longer resident in Spain and so no longer owed any tax there. But he has been accused of moving his tax residence to Monaco in order to escape the attentions of the Spanish taxman.
According to reports in the Spanish press, Falcao constructed a system that had “the sole aim of hiding from the Spanish taxman.”
Falcao’s apparent payment follows a string of similar cases in which players have reached agreements with Spanish authorities over alleged tax evasion.
Last week Lionel Messi’s 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud was changed to a €252,000 fine after he and his father were found guilty of defrauding the authorities of €4.1 million between 2007 and 2009. The news came two days after Barcelona announced that Messi had agreed a new contract.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has been called to testify on July 31 in Madrid over allegations that he too hid income from tax authorities between 2011 and 2014. He denies any wrongdoing.
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