Spanish football champions FC Barcelona said it would make a voluntary tax payment of 13.5 million euros over the club’s signing of Brazilian star striker Neymar da Silva Santos Jr in May 2013. FC Barcelona later denied any tax irregularities in relation to the fiscal obligations arising from the signing of the player.
On February 20 a judge at Madrid’s National Court indicted the Catalan giants after seeing “sufficient evidence to investigate a possible crime against the public treasury” over the 86 million euro ($118-million) transfer of Neymar from Brazilian club Santos. He sought to establish whether or not Neymar, who joined Barcelona in May 2013, was counted as a taxpayer in Spain or his native Brazil that year.
The Barcelona Board of Directors said the club would still “present a legal defence in the case opened against it” and assured fans it has “always acted within the law.” They also made clear that it has always fulfilled its tax obligations, both in terms of time and method, and has enjoyed close collaboration with the Spanish Tax Authorities. The Barcelona Board also stressed that FC Barcelona has no tax debts.
State prosecutors have alleged that Barcelona owe the taxman nine million euros. Including the potential fine, the total expected to be paid-out is 13.5 million euros.
On its official website, The Board of FC Barcelona denied “the existence of any tax related crime in relation to the fiscal obligations arising from the signing of the player. Throughout the process, the Club was receiving expert advice and at every moment the Club’s auditor was informed and had access to all the documentation concerning the negotiations.”
The Barcelona Board of Directors also assured that the voluntary contribution of 13.5 million euros “should not be understood as in any way affecting the Club’s right to have its tax obligations in this matter determined by the competent authorities, concerning which the Club reserves the right to further action.”