Earlier this month, a group of 12 European newspapers accused football legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho of dodging millions of dollars in tax by channelling money to offshore tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands.
One of the papers in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium, the Dutch newspaper NRC, alleges that Ronaldo moved €63.5m to the British Virgin Islands at the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, the EIC claims that Mourinho moved €12m into a Swiss account owned by a British Virgin Islands company. Both Ronaldo and Mourinho have denied the claims.
The allegations are based on 18 million documents of leaked data released under the banner “Football Leaks”, which according to the newspapers reveal widespread corruption at the heart of the sport.
EU tax dodge clampdown
“I am very shocked that those who are lucky enough to earn often very high salaries can avoid paying their fair share of taxes,” top EU official Pierre Moscovici told French lawmakers on Wednesday reports Reuters.
“The commission has decided to make legislative proposals in 2017 on the role of intermediaries and tax advisers when they organise tax avoidance and fraud,” the economic affairs commissioner said at a hearing in Paris.
The comments refer to a consultation launched last month where the EU proposed forcing financial advisers to report “aggressive” tax planning schemes which help clients avoid paying tax.
This also ties in with HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) plan to issue hefty fines to financial advisers found guilty of helping their clients avoid tax.
Last week, the UK tax authority admitted it is currently investigating 43 football players and 12 clubs over their use of offshore companies to avoid paying tax on money earned through image rights in the UK.