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Barcelona 'to pay Neymar tax fraud sum'

Barcelona are reportedly set to announce after a board meeting on Monday that the club has decided to pay the 9.1 million euro sum which the Spanish tax authorities say was avoided during Neymar’s controversial transfer from Santos last summer.

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Barca have been charged with not paying the tax due on two payments totalling 37.9 million euros made to a company controlled by the Brazil international’s father during the move.

The authorities see these payments as “income” which should have been declared in the Catalan club’s tax returns. Barca -- and apparently Neymar Snr -- had maintained these sums were actually a “penalty clause” due to the company, and therefore any taxes on the sum would be due in Brazil.

The Blaugrana last week denied that they had done anything illegal and said they would work with the court to demonstrate this, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu telling Spanish TV he was confident Barca would be found to have done everything properly.

However, well-sourced Catalan paper La Vanguardia -- who broke the story that Sandro Rosell was set to resign as the controversy over the transfer intensified in late January -- reported on Sunday that the club would pay the 9.1 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities to avoid any further penalties.

The report claimed that Barca’s accountants Cuatrecasas had put together a plan which aimed to “reduce the financial and legal implications” of the fraud charge filed last week.

According to El Pais, Spanish companies found to have defrauded the taxman can face penalties of up to six times the initial sum, while company directors involved in any fraud can also face individual punishments.


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