Will ‘Image Rights’ allow Ronaldo to skip past the Taxman

A Fiscal tax fraud charge of €14.7 million ($16.4 M) in lieu of the ‘image rights’ has been alleged against the Portuguese forward, by the Madrid’s criminal prosecution system on Tuesday.

It’s indeed tough to be a soccer player with ties to Spain.

Madrid’s Provincial Prosecutor’s Office filed a complaint accusing Ronaldo of committing misdemeanors between 2011 and 2014, including voluntary and conscious tax evasion, the creation of company for hiding ‘image rights’ income in Spain.

Is Ronaldo next in line after Messi!

Lionel Messi and his father Jorge were imprisoned for 21 months failing to pay a tax of image rights earning between 2007 and 2009.

P.S.: Argentine was in Jail, without a Jail. In Spain, first-time offenders are not supposed to spend time behind bars, if the term is two years or less.

Although, the complaint in Ronaldo’s case is three times greater in value. Will the same jurisprudence be followed?

# Facts of the case

· Payment to Ronaldo was made in 2014, for a period from 2011 up to 2020.

· The Transaction was made before the end of the “Beckham Law.”

· Ronaldo was officially a Manchester United player, until the official announcement made on 11th June,2009.

· Ronaldo’s advisors believe that 92% of the image rights income in allegation was generated offshore.

# Beckham Law: A loophole

The astronomical income of players could get a further boost with this Beckham law.

The law was initiated around the time when the then- England captain David Beckham joined Real Madrid. He was the first foreign national not to get taxed on earnings considered offshore, including those generated in their home country.

The Beckham Law was revised and subsequently scrapped owing to the financial crisis in Spain. An exemption for five years was provided for anyone who had entered the nation prior to the amendments.

P.S.: Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Kaka among others, were qualified to pay lower tax rate.

This is not the first time that Ronaldo is getting into such controversy; he was accused of allegedly moving money to tax heaven in the British Virgin Islands. Time will reveal if he succeeds in battling off such allegations or will be behind bars.

Contributed By: Nimisha Gupta