Expatica news

Barca player ‘accused of EUR 270,000 tax fraud’

3 December 2003

BARCELONA – FC Barcelona star Luis Enrique has been accused of evading EUR 270,000 in tax, it was reported Wednesday.

La Vanguardia newspaper reported that Spain’s Inland Revenue has taken proceedings against the FC Barcelona captain for alleged tax evasion.

The amount that Enrique is alleged to have fraudulently evaded is three times the legal tax limit.

Inspectors are examining Enrique’s tax returns for 1999 and 2000. They do not reflect EUR 600,000 which he received from a company called Fullforce Sport Ltd, which is registered in the Dutch Antilles and controlled by Enrique.

The cash was paid by the sportswear division of Nike Europe, a subsidiary of the American giant Nike, through a contract when the player agreed to renew his contract with FC Barcelona. But the club is not associated with this contract.

The footballer told Inland Revenue inspectors that the cash was from a salary from FC Barcelona and that the club was responsible for making the necessary tax deductions.

Several high-profile professional footballers are under investigation by Inland Revenue inspectors who believe they many received part of their income from companies controlled by them for the sale of the rights to their images.

Former FC Barcelona stars Ronald Koeman and Rivaldo have already been questioned about their tax returns by inspectors.

An Inland Revenue spokesman declined to talk about Enrique’s tax situation.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news