Barcelona Star Footballer Takes his Tax Plea to Court – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning and Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on November 18, 2013

Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi is known for his dexterity and finesse on the soccer field. A multiple Ballon d'Or award winner, and FIFA World Player of the Year, Messi is known as a fierce competitor. He will need all those skills, plus more, to win his tax evasion case with the Spanish Treasury. According to the Treasury, Messi, with the help of his father, did not pay tax on Messi’s royalty and licensing earnings. Instead, the two men funneled Messi’s image rights through several companies with the rights ultimately ending up in the tax haven countries of Belize and Uruguay. In all, it is estimated that this “transfer” saved Messi about €4.165 million, or $5.5 million U.S, in tax for 2010 and 2011.

After the news broke, it was rumored that Messi and his father would pay €15 million, or $19,546,500 US, to settle the civil tax portion of the matter. Whether that is true is still unknown, but Messi’s father has said there is no deal in place. That could be true as last month, Messi and his father, Jorge, came back to court for interviews so the court could determine if either or both men should face criminal charges for the alleged tax evasion.

As in the U.S., the Spanish tax authority, appears to be making an example of Messi. Whether highly paid, well-known, or an ordinary citizen, no one is exempt from paying his or her taxes. According to Forbes magazine, Messi is in the top 10 of the world’s highest paid athletes. His endorsement deals include such companies as EA Sports, Dolce & Gabana, who have recently faced their own tax problems, Pepsi Cola, and Adidas.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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