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Cristiano Ronaldo makes offer to Spanish taxman: two-year prison term and €18.8 million fine

The player is seeking to settle his dues over tax crimes committed between 2011 and 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo in Sochi on Thursday.
Cristiano Ronaldo in Sochi on Thursday.Javier Etxezarreta / EFE

Real Madrid’s star soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has made an offer to the Spanish solicitor general’s office in a bid to settle a court case against him for alleged tax fraud.

According to sources familiar with the case, the Portuguese player has offered to accept a two-year jail term (which would be suspended), and to pay a fine of €18.8 million.

The case involves alleged irregularities related to Ronaldo’s image rights between the years 2011 and 2014, during which time he is thought to have evaded €14.7 million in taxes

The case involves alleged irregularities related to Ronaldo’s image rights between the years 2011 and 2014, during which time he is thought to have evaded €14.7 million in taxes.

The news broke just hours before Ronaldo is due to captain the Portugal national side against Spain, in both teams’ opening match in the Russia 2018 World Cup.

The Spanish Tax Agency is yet to accept this latest proposal, and there are ongoing discussions  regarding the fine that he should pay. According to reports from the Cadena SER radio network, the Tax Agency is demanding €30 million.

The Madrid prosecutor in charge of the case has accused Ronaldo of taking advantage of a corporate structure created in 2010

In March of this year, a previous offer from the player was rejected by the Spanish tax authorities, with sources close to the investigation describing a meeting with Ronaldo several months ago as “very unsatisfactory,” given that he offered an “insignificant amount” of around “four or five” million euros. The Tax Agency rejected the offer and opted instead to press on with its criminal proceedings against the player.

The Madrid prosecutor in charge of the case has accused Ronaldo of taking advantage of a corporate structure created in 2010, the year after he was signed by Real Madrid from Manchester United, in order to conceal income generated in Spain from image rights. That was, the prosecutor argues, a “voluntary” and “conscious” failure to meet his tax obligations in Spain.

The player is accused of four tax offenses, one for each of the tax years during which he allegedly committed fraud. The company that handled Ronaldo’s image rights is called Tollin Associates LTD, and it is based in the British Virgin Islands, which are a tax haven. That company granted the exploitation of the rights to another company based in Ireland, Multisports&Image Management LTD. It was this latter company, the prosecutor says, that managed and exploited the rights without the company in the Virgin Islands having any activity whatsoever.

Last summer, Ronaldo appeared before a judge in Pozuelo, the town outside Madrid where he lives, and denied having hidden income from his image rights valued at €59.9 million, and liable to taxes of €14.7 million, according to the prosecutor.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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