Spanish court finds Turkey’s Turan guilty of tax fraud over undeclared image rights earnings

March 20 – Former Turkey captain Arda Turan has been found guilty of tax fraud in Spain and sentenced to a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years.

A Spanish court said the ex-Barcelona and Atletico Madrid midfielder committed two counts of tax fraud in 2015 and 2016.

Turan, current head coach of Eyüpspor, reportedly accepted the verdict. He was ordered to pay two fines – one of €303,000 for the 2015 fiscal year and another of €330,000 for the 2016 fiscal year – with a remaining balance of more than €617,000 to settle.

According to documents prepared by the prosecutor, Turan did not declare his personal income and evaded tax payments in Spain despite being a taxpayer for personal income tax in Spain and earning significant income. He played for Atletico from 2011 to 2015 and Barcelona from 2015 to 2018.

In 2016, although Turan did file his personal income tax assessment, “he omitted to declare a substantial amount of income related to his image rights earned worldwide.”

Spanish tax officials have caught several football stars for similar tax fraud over the past decade, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho. Like Turan, none of them have gone behind bars because sentences of less than two years can be suspended for first-time offenders in Spain.

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