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Cristiano Ronaldo gets suspended sentence and €18.8m fine
23 January 2019 @ 14:29

FORMER Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been sentenced to 23 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine in the sum of €18.8 million over discrepancies with his tax affairs during his time in the Spanish capital.

As the custodial term is less than two years and for a first offence, the Portuguese team captain will not have to serve it.

Tax evasion, deliberate or not, is considered a civil offence and normally only carries a fine if sufficiently high until the amount unpaid reaches €120,000, when it is automatically considered a crime.

This means that by default, celebrities who fail to meet their tax obligations will be facing criminal charges almost from the first non-payment, given the size of their ordinary earnings.

In Ronaldo's case, the dad-of-four had left his affairs in the hands of his accountants, who created a front-company structure with the player's permission in his days of playing for Manchester United - a structure that was legal at the time in the UK.

The five-times Ballon d'Or winner retained this taxation framework when he moved to Madrid, since he assumed it was also legal in Spain.

This turned out not to be the case, and for four tax years between 2010 and 2014, avoided paying €5.7m in tax.

He refunded this as soon as he became aware of the problem, plus interest, but has now had to pay a fine on top of 3.3 times the amount subject to his 'evasion'.



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