Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Cristiano Ronaldo denies allegations he failed to pay £13m in taxes

On Tuesday, a Spanish state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 totaling 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million).

Real Madrid are adamant that star Cristiano Ronaldo will "prove his total innocence" after a lawsuit was filed against him for alleged tax fraud.

The richest sportsperson in the world has been accused of evading tax of 14.7m euros (£13m; $16m) from 2011 to 2014.

Gestifute, the agency representing the Portugal captain, said in a lengthy statement posted on its website the matter is a complex financial one. Cristiano is accused of knowingly using a "business structure" to hide income made from his image rights.

[Cristiano Ronaldo has never] had a tax problem, contrary to what the Spanish prosecutors insinuate.

The world's highest-paid athlete is the latest target of tax authorities who have probed a number of other high profile footballers including FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi who was sentenced a year ago to 21 months in prison for tax evasion.

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Ronaldo took advantage of what is known in Spain as "the Beckham law" - which allows foreign sportspersons to pay 24.75% income tax, rather than the 48% applied to Spanish nationals.

"The Prosecutor's Office says that the player declared the income derived from the transfer of image rights as income from movable capital to evade taxes".

Real have stated that they are convinced that Ronaldo has always demonstrated a willingness to comply with tax obligations and added that they are convinced that the 32-year-old will show his innocence during this process.

According to Forbes, Cristiano is the world's highest-paid athlete for 2017, having earned £73m past year from salary, bonuses and endorsements.

The prosecutor said that after Ronaldo signed a contract to join Real Madrid in December 2008 he ceded his image rights to a company called Tollin Associates Ltd, domiciled in the British Virgin Islands and in which he was the only stakeholder. The prosecutor's office in Madrid has said it has filed a lawsuit against the Portuguese player.

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