Ronaldo, Mourinho accused of tax avoidance

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho have avoided paying tax on millions of dollars of earnings by channelling money abroad, according to claims based on a huge document leak.

Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star, and Mourinho, the Manchester United manager, allegedly moved large sums to the British Virgin Islands.

The allegations are said to be based on two terrabytes of leaked information which include original contracts.

Ronaldo and Mourinho deny the claims.

In a statement via their agent, Jorge Mendes, they said they had complied with the law.

Mendes’s company Gestifute said Ronaldo and Mourinho had “fully respected their obligations vis-a-vis the Spanish and British authorities”.

The claims were published by an international consortium of journalists which obtained millions of documents.

The European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium includes German newspaper Der Spiegel, Spain’s El Mundo and the UK’s Sunday Times. The consortium says it intends to publish a series of articles under the banner “Football Leaks” over the next few weeks.

The leak comes eight months after the so-called Panama Papers lifted the lid on how the world’s rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

One of the papers in the consortium, the Dutch NRC, alleges that Ronaldo moved €63.5m (£53.1m, $67.7m) to the British Virgin Islands at the end of 2014.

The paper says the striker received sponsorship fees which were moved via two Irish companies to the tax haven, 11 days before Spain changed an advantageous tax law.

The NRC says Ronaldo has so far not responded to questions asked by the consortium.

Mourinho is reported to have moved €12m (£10m) into a Swiss account owned by a British Virgin Islands company, according to the EIC.

According to the reports, Friday’s first batch of leaks centred on “a system” put in place by Mr Mendes, whose company has denied any wrongdoing.

His company, Gestifute, said in a statement that neither Ronaldo nor Mourinho “have been implicated in legal proceedings of the tax evasion commission in Spain”.

It noted it had taken legal redress against claims of tax evasion and stressed it had always acted with “the highest degree of professionalism in relations with [its] clients and authorities”.

The company accused the media consortium of operating in an “insidious” way concerning the stars’ tax obligations.

Source: BBC

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