• Football

Barcelona make €13.6m Neymar tax payment

ESPN staff
February 24, 2014
Barca pay the taxman

Barcelona say the club has made a €13.6 million payment to Spain's tax authorities, but maintain that no tax-fraud took place in the controversial signing of Neymar from Santos last summer.

The Catalan club was last week charged with avoiding the tax due on two payments totaling €37.9 million, which was made to a company controlled by Neymar's father as part of his son's complicated €86.2 million transfer deal.

The Madrid court investigating the transfer accepted the tax authorities' view that this could be seen as a "signing bonus" to the player which should have been declared in the club's tax returns.

Barcelona maintain these sums were actually a "penalty clause" due to the existence of the second-party company, and therefore not subject to income tax in Spain.

Catalan paper La Vanguardia reports that a payment of €13.6 million has been made by Barcelona to the authorities, as the club is keen to avoid any misunderstandings, and with the possibility of greater penalties being imposed should they fight the case.

A club statement released on Monday said: "Given the existence of a possible divergence in interpretation about the scope of the tax obligations due in this transfer, to settle any possible tax debt deriving from this operation, and to defend the good name and reputation of our club, FC Barcelona has proceeded this morning with the presentation of the corresponding supplementary self-assessed payment.

"This self-assessment payment has a total sum of €13,550,830.56 and has as an objective to cover the eventual interpretations which can be made of all the contracts signed with the goal of signing the player Neymar, although we are convinced of the legality of the initial fulfillment of the tax obligations."

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