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SBD Global/February 25, 2014/Finance

Barcelona Pays Tax Authorities $18.6M Following Tax Fraud Charges In Neymar Signing

Barcelona paid $18M to close the book on Neymar-signing charges.
Barcelona said on Monday that it has paid €13.5M ($18.6M) to the Spanish tax authorities after the club was "charged last week with tax fraud in the signing of Brazil forward Neymar," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. Barcelona insisted that it "had not committed any tax offence and said the payment had been made due to a 'possible difference of interpretation'" about the amount owed after signing Neymar from Santos. Barcelona said in a statement, "The aim is to cover eventual interpretations that could be given to the contracts drawn up in the operation to sign Neymar." It was not "immediately clear whether the payment would mean the fraud charges laid by a Madrid court would be dropped" (REUTERS, 2/24). Barcelona said in its statement, "The Board denies 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. As we have done so far, the Club will continue to give maximum collaboration to the Law Courts in order to clarify the facts of the case" (Barcelona).

COST ON THE RISE: In Madrid, Luis F. Rojo wrote with "every day that passes, the total cost of the Neymar signing increases a little bit more." At the moment, the price has reached €111.7M ($153.3M) if the €13.5M paid to the tax authorities on Monday is included. The transaction "started out as a signing valued at €57.1M" (MARCA, 2/24).
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