Photo: Neymar (Miguel Ruiz - FCB)
FC Barcelona could face a maximum fine of 54.6 million euros ($74.4 million) related to last year’s signing of Brazilian striker Neymar da Silva.
The case involves allegations that Barça paid 37.92 million euros more than the stated transfer fee for signing the player - 10 million euros in 2011 and 27.92 million euros in 2013.
Those payments would have to be considered a signing bonus and the club should have withheld 24.7 percent of that - 9.1 million euros - as a tax on non-residents, according to Spain’s tax agency.
In late February, FC Barcelona paid the Spanish treasury 13.5 million euros ($18.6 million) to cover additional taxes the club may owe in connection with the Neymar transaction.
Club directors remain “convinced of the legality of the initial compliance with tax obligations,” Barcelona said then in a statement, attributing any discrepancies to differing interpretations of the relevant laws and regulations.
Judicial sources informed Efe Tuesday about the Spanish tax agency’s report on Barça’s alleged tax evasion.
The report was submitted to National Court Judge Pablo Ruz, who concluded in February that there was sufficient evidence of wrongdoing by Barça to warrant a judicial probe.
Prosecutors will ask the judge to subpoena Barcelona directors and the club’s former president, Sandro Rosell, the sources said.
The tax investigation began weeks after Ruz agreed to investigate charges that Rosell profited personally from Barça’s acquisition of Neymar for a stated transfer fee of 57 million euros ($78.2 million).
Rosell resigned the club presidency a day after the judge named him as a defendant in that matter.