Report: Alexis facing fine after admitting tax evasion

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According to Europa Press, Alexis Sanchez has admitted defrauding the Spanish taxman of €983,443 during his time at Barcelona and paid the owed cash in full.

The Chilean apparently used an offshore company called Numidia Trading to avoid payments due on image rights in 2012 and 2013. His agent had previously denied that Alexis had done anything wrong. 

His admission of guilt, made via a video-link appearance this afternoon, and the decision to pay the fine means the striker will probably avoid a trial.

He may still have to pay a hefty fine and faces being handed a suspended prison sentence.

Someone get that man a coat. He may well want to hide for the evening.

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86 Comments on "Report: Alexis facing fine after admitting tax evasion"

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Pedant

No wonder he looked unhappy on the bench. He’d much rather be running around thinking of something else.

IamaGoober

No wonder he wants a bigger contract, since he’s getting totally shafted and having to pay all that tax back.

Cobber

By totally shafted you mean ‘meeting his financial obligations to society’? Yeah, bummer. I bet he will be down to his last 10 million quid.

JustAGooner

That is what happen when he (and Messi) listens to devil’s advocate on spanish taxation

David Omogo

Shut your mouth

A Different George

I don’t want to whitewash what Alexis has done, but it does seem unlikely that he and the other players in Spain (Messi, etc.) could have decided to do this on their own, or even that they necessarily knew much about it. Did their agents/advisors say to them: “we’re thinking of an illegal scheme, involving off-shore registration of limited-liability entities, that will save half-a-million in taxes each year–okay with you?” Or was it more: “we’ll handle this, it’s perfectly okay, don’t worry about it.”

If I am right, he remains responsible. I suspect players will now, as they should have then, tell their business managers: “make sure it’s legitimate, don’t get too close to the line.” But I don’t think it means he is dishonest in the way we normally use that word.

arseblog
Admin

Almost certainly the work of agents/financial advisors. Most footballers will put their money in the hands of those people and ‘experts’.

Wasn’t there a story about a load of Premier League players investing in some kind of film studio and getting properly fleeced?

Kwame Ampadu Down

Yes, Super Kev Campbell is one & he’s lost everything he had sadly. Footballers generally I believe have no idea what to do with their money. (understandably given they’re mostly uneducated & known nothing other than football since their early teens)
It’s totally right that those who have paid too little tax have to pay it back & be fined but FIFA/governments should be targeting the sleazy money men more than footballers themselves.

Bould's Eyeliner

Not sure how it is in the UK or elsewhere, but in America, there is a legal requirement for third-parties to declare their intentions and assurances on financial documents prepared for others, and conflicts of interests are actionable things. If the ‘agent’ business was a licensed and certified profession, maybe we wouldn’t be seeing this kind of behavior from predators who seem to live in this international limbo.

1GoonerDan

Not an either/or situation. Should target both and recoup as much as possible for the taxpayer.

They may well be targeting the agents/advisors equally. However, the agents/advisors that few have heard of are not going to hit the headlines like a high profile footballer.

Lizzie

Totally agree – these guys have accountants and business managers and probably tend to just focus on playing/doing their commercial gigs. They SHOULD pay more attention and probably will now. But they also SHOULD be able to trust the ppl they hire to take care of this stuff.

James's giant peaches
James's giant peaches

The accountants etc are advisers. The person evading tax is Alexis.

Cobber

This stuff is endemic. If only there was some kind of union the players could turn to, to get advice and a second opinion on this kind of thing.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Unsurprisingly Barcelona seem to be involved in the majority of these cases. #wankers

Heavenly Chapecoense

If you know your agent put your money somewhere like Caiman Island, Dakota even Luxemburg or Switzerland through an offshore company, you clearly knows what is going on. Perhaps agents told them, this was perfectly legal. Doing it without their consent, I do not believe it. Anyhow, their lawyers would have blamed the agent publicly if that was the case.

Rochester

Looks like there are a couple agents here voting you down …

HoustonGooner

My Barcelona supporting friend thinks this is a witch hunt initiated by Real Madrid to destabilize Barcelona players…

Mr November

He’s been poorly advised but he knew what he was doing and it’s highly immoral considering all of us plebs have to pay our fair share of tax. Cue all the dickheads rushing to his defence claiming that we’d all do it if we could get away with it.

arseblog
Admin

Probably not as cut and dry as that. If your agent/financial advisor tells you investing in a particular scheme is a good idea, you’d do it, especially if they insisted there was nothing illegal about it. Morally suspect, sure, but not illegal.

There is a difference between avoiding tax, and evading tax.

Jamie

If it wasn’t illegal he wouldn’t be getting a suspended prison sentence, and if there were written confirmation that his financial advisor assured him it was legal then I doubt alexis would be getting much of the blame.
No-ones making it out to be cut and dry but your article title clearly says ‘evasion’, not avoidance.

A Different George

I don’t want to put words in Blog’s mouth, but I think he was saying that Alexis’ advisors may have told him it was legal tax avoidance when in fact it was illegal evasion.

Clive St Helmet

In which case he was deceived and did not need to admit guilt, and would not be facing a suspended sentence.

I suspect that the truth is somewhere in between; he doesn’t know enough about the legality of the scheme, was convinced that it was unlikely to raise suspicion and that everyone else was doing it, why not him?

At the end of the day, if someone offers you something that seems to be too good to be true, it probably is, and you should approach it with healthy scepticism.

arseblog
Admin

That’s what I meant. It might well have been tax avoidance until a change in legislation made it evasion.

I also think avoiding tax, while legal, is still pretty grotty, but when you’re dealing with this kind of wealth it’s par for the course. The rest of us have to pay everything while the rich and big companies very often don’t pay their share.

I was just trying to make the point that Alexis, like most footballers, will leave all that stuff in the hands of advisors and accountants, and if they tell him it’s not illegal then then he’ll go with it.

1GoonerDan

I agree with most of what you say on this topic except tax avoidance is pretty grotty in the sense that pretty much all us do it via perfectly legal and government backed schemes.

For example, people saving in ISA’s and/or putting more of their income in pension pots to get tax relief. This is avoiding tax but nothing grotty about it.

Obviously, some things can be a little close to the mark.

Bould's Eyeliner

I’m interested in reading all of these arguments because quite frankly, they’re more revealing about ourselves than anything about Alexis.

We’ve got to remember that our perspective is what we call a “first-world problem”. Naturally because most of us come from a background where most taxes are paid honestly, and the big guns upstairs constantly takes a little bit from each of us, we’re always convinced it’s the right thing to do and natural for a person to obey. However, most of us have lived our lives within the dogma and rhetoric of a single nation.

This is what I mean by the above–Sanchez is from Chile, and he is deeply patriotic. He probably doesn’t give a rat’s ass about England other than the fact that it enables him to compete in the EPL. He probably doesn’t give too much of a rat’s ass about Spain especially, since they are largely responsible for colonizing his homeland. (He can then look at the US to blame after that for the poor nature of their socio-economic condition).

But all that is speculation. There is one thing I have noticed though is that he takes deep pride in being a role model for children, especially the children of his country. He is an upstanding individual, and whatever tax fraud his financial lackeys committed, it’s certainly not usual for the player themselves to come out, take responsibility, and assure that “the right thing will be done”. Doesn’t this tell us all we need to know?

The Lawyer

“All of us plebs have to pay our fair share of tax” – only the top 40% of earners are net contributors to the state in the UK (factoring in direct and indirect taxes). Is that paying your fair share? Enjoy the net benefit you receive from the state which is partly contributed to by Alexis’ talent, hard work, high salary and accompanying higher tax rates (he will pay milllions in income tax each year – not a fair contribution?).

Danny

Woah. In that case we should all be extremely grateful for the generosity of the high earners of our country? How about the gulf in equality between the top earners and everyone else? I know this is a football comment section, but seriously, get fucked!!

Flashman71

Totally agree Danny – what an appalling comment by “The Lawyer”, disappointed that somebody on the blog could make such a naïve comment, but then perhaps that reveals my own naivety with regard to people. I can take some of the ridiculous comments/ arguments about Arsenal Football Club – it’s ownership, it’s direction, it’s manager, it’s players etc. on the site (sometimes). We all accept that’s the nature of football blogs and some of the opinion contained therein. But to read something like that, that’s the mind set that put President Trump in to the White House and led to Brexit! A Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” kind of rhetoric. The response to that comment was “Madame Guillotine”. Shame certain things have changed over time.

Flashman71

grammar isn’t my strong point- apologies.

Mr November

I don’t even have to call you an arsehole. You’ve proved that all by yourself. Bravo.

Bould's Eyeliner

He beat you to it and named himself “The Lawyer”.

Viva la Prof

We’d all benefit greatly if everybody just paid 10% of all income they receive no matter who you are.I don’t blame high earners for trying to pay less tax. I don’t know anything about the Spanish tax system, but if it’s anything like the Uk it’s fucking ludicrous as soon as you go above 43k a year. If this country had any sense we’d use this silly brexit bollocks to make The UK the number one footballers Tax paradise. Folk can slag of footballers all they like for the money they earn, but they generate a fuck ton more income for whatever country elite players live and work in.

Paul

I would definitely be up for paying just 10% but sadly I think the NHS would collapse for a start….

NorthernGooner

ahhh…you mean that much vaunted “trickle down economy” that has worked so well?

ClockEndRider

The top 1% of U.K. taxpayers pay approximately 27% of personal taxation raised. Which may we’ll provide some background to why people seek, by legal means, to avoid taxation.
The problem comes when governments restrpspectively change taxation law and go out of their way to create a moralistic climate where everybody is supposed to pay not the right amount of tax but the most amount of tax they can possibly pay. Frankly I think the current climate of enervated politics of envy bullshit whipped up by the two groups of people who over my lifetime, politicians and media, who have behaved in the least moral way deserves to be consigned to the dustbin and recognised for what it is.

Q3 Technique

Any independent and reputable source of information for your claim?

As a trained doctoral level economist i’d like to point out that wages denote how the proceeds of economic activity get split between the individuals involved in that economic activity. If the 60% are not net contributors as you claim then perhaps it’s because their net share of the proceeds of economic activity has been stagnant or declined over the past 2 decades due to stagnant wages – or even worse, less than inflation annual wage increases which mean people effectively earn less every year. Meanwhile the top earners have seen annual double digit growth over that same period. So they should be paying much more in tax since they are claiming a ever greater share of the net proceeds of economic activity. It’s not as if the 60% (as you implicitly call them) have been sitting on their arse holes twiddling their thumbs doing nothing during that time. Many people effectively work 6 day weeks for the same wage they received 10 years ago in real terms (factoring in inflation etc). It’s not fair. Its not the basis of vibrant functional society. That’s why actions such as this are deplorable.

Hank1979

He was sad. Then happy. Then sad again..emotions are such a pain in the arse.

Bould's Eyeliner

Yes if only we knew how to stop them from changing…

Nasris wallet

If it was hazard or mane or pogba we would all condem their actions. Therefor I condem alexis! If everyone in Spain had his attitude then their country would be even more fucked than it already is! Very naughty boy…

NorthernGooner

You mean Ronaldo who apparently had 150 million Euros stashed in a tax heaven and yet, misteriously nothing has been done about it?

I’m not condoning what Alexis, Messi or Mascherano have done, but it does look like some players have been targeted and made an example of.

I do not believe for one second that Hazard, Mane or Pogba have a clue about their own tax affairs, anymore than Alexis does. For whatever reason, they need advisers that they trust and I suspect pay handsomely, it is the advisers who should be made responsible.

In Spain it doesn’t work that way and each individual is solely responsible for their own tax affairs, If you have been mislead or badly advised then you may take issue with them, but in the spanish taxman will go after you just the same.

kaius

Yeah the current Spanish administration made it a mission to go after high-profile guys like Ronaldo, Messi, Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and Neymar, so it’s no surprise that Alexis was targeted as well.

Just glad he’s done the right thing now.

Roger Ramjet

Wasn’t that film studio to do with Leicester players? They wanted to upgrade from the bedroom scenes!

Javis

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

Mesut O'neill

Guess this explains why he wants £300,000 a week.

Kazi

Hey Andrew, just seen that Cesc Fabregas follows you on Twitter. That’s amazing. Also, Alexis is rich as shit, I don’t understand why he wants to avoid paying taxes. He’ll extend soon and everything will be perfectly okay.

Vincent Kompanys Forehead
Vincent Kompanys Forehead

Because most humans are fundamentally greedy and chances are you or i wpuld do the same if it was a legal loophole.

Half the reason for an accountant is they can exploit the legal loopholes. His accountant fucked up

Asano

If Rich Trump can avoid/evade paying Taxes, who is Alexis not to try doing so? To tell the truth, I HATE PAYING TAXES. But get it together boy, sign the new contract, pay your taxes, score more goals, and we will all live happily ever after!!!!!!!

Mootilated

Offshore company happens to be in my home country of Malta…

Would be nice if we were put on the map for something nice for once. Corruption scandals galore at the moment 🙁

arseblog
Admin

And bookies!

Paul

I like Malta.

NorthernGooner

In Chile, Malta is also a type of beer (dark beer if i remember correctly)

Mootilated

It’s nice for holidays but quite a nightmare to live in.

shokim

Crooked financial advisor, be gone with you! Hope this has been a lesson learnt, albeit an expensive one.

Seat96

Is it a blessing in disguise in that he probably won’t fancy going back to Spain for a while?

David C

Donald Trump brags about not paying taxes and people think it’s great.

Today, a press story is making the rounds about how the richest 8 people in the world now own as much as the poorest 3.5 billion.

Rich footballers (and rich people in general) are always breaking the rules when it comes to paying taxes.

I have to keep an eye on my budget just so I can afford BeIN Sports ($20 Canadian a month).

We live in a very selfish/bizarre world. I’m sure Alexis didn’t know about the quasi-legal dealings of his financial adviser, but at least he owned up to it.

I hope it’s a lesson to future players, but I know it won’t be.

Rant over!

SFGiants

Just a note that a lot of us are NOT happy about Tr*mp’s avoidance of taxes. Unfortunately, he’s the Teflon-Don, and I suspect a lot of footballers wish they were covered with the same Teflon.

David C

I was just saying his supporters were bragging that’s he’s ‘smart’ for not paying taxes. It’s just all really sad.

In the 1980’s, you could be an unskilled labourer and buy a house for 3 times your salary. Now, you’re lucky to find a home that’s under 8-10 times your salary.

Let’s get this back to footie. If Donald Trump were a football player, he’d be Joey Barton! haha.

A Different George

Doesn’t have Barton’s class.

FrankTheTank

If it was his agents doing without Alexis knowledge then certainly the agent should be coming forth and say so instead of Alexis smearing his reputation to save the face of some asshole agent who stabbed him in the back. Further more Alexis should have fired his ass.

The logical conclusion, Alexis knew very well what was going on hence why he took it like a man and owned up to it.

The rich allways want and dont think the same rules should apply to them like the rest of the peasants.

But kudos to Alexis for owning up to it and settling his debts, it lets us mark it down as a mistake and forgive.

Stringer Bell

Let’s give him a knighthood for being honest about his dishonesty (after being caught)

Javis

In fairness two weeks in China pays all of that off, In joking, I’m joking!

Liam

Raise the taxes and close the tax loopholes for the super rich 1% -footballers and all, and we might be able to afford a functioning NHS

Higihaga

Tax evasion – another proof that he is world class

Godfrey Twatschloch

You make millions over a 10-15 year period. You invest some of it, put some away, clear any loans/debts (caveat being if people on that kind of money even need loans ever), live well in the process and leave it in the hands of a reputable accountant.

I can’t see how it can be any harder than that.

NorthernGooner

“……..and leave it in the hands of a reputable accountant”

That’s the hard part.

Godfrey Twatschloch

I stand corrected!

ruddy

these players need to be taight a lesson.
If an ordinary person can pay tax then why cant a rich millionaire do so?.
This is totally disgusting and unacceptable behavior. He ought to be ashamed of himself

Arsepedant

So your automatic assumption is that Alexis told his agent, “put all my money into dodgy and illegal schemes to avoid paying taxes.” How do you know this? Do you have some secret telephone recording that no-one else knows about?

I think it’s much more likely that Alexis told his agent, “I’ve got these millions of pounds that I need to invest, take care of it for me.” In which case, he is blameless and it is the agent, not Alexis, who should be censured.

Perhaps the law is different in Spain, but if that happened to me here in Canada, I’d be suing my financial advisor for misrepresentation (and winning my suit), and not only would the damages I won pay the outstanding taxes, the penalties, and my legal fees, they would also pay me a settlement for his having defrauded me.

Pj

Taxation is theft

Godfrey Twatschloch

While I agree with that to an extent its one us mortals have no say over. The tax gang is the biggest gang in town and you deny them their protection money at your own peril.

Dial Square

At last! Somebody agrees with me on that simple premise

Tim

Cool. Just never usea a road, right?

Vincent Kompanys Forehead
Vincent Kompanys Forehead

Is it true that Spanish big guns i.e Real and Barca are subsidised significantly by the state?

West Ham aside of course.

NorthernGooner

I guess it depends who you ask.

In Spain there are 4 clubs that did not convert into “Sociedades Anonimas”; Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna. This means that they don’t pay Corporation Tax, which I suppose gives them an advantage and it is a subsidy of sorts. The EU is currently looking into this.

The real issue for both Real Madrid and Barcelona has been the recalification of land that has allowed both teams, to benefit greatly, in particular Real Madrid. That has given them a much bigger benefit than not paying Corporate Tax.

Vincent Kompanys Forehead
Vincent Kompanys Forehead

Thanks for the info

Glasgow_Gooner

‘Get that man a coat’ made me chuckle. Wonder if Alexis is feeling a bit sheepish after that.

Godfrey Twatschloch

He should do a little bit. This is the kind of thing you hear dick head rappers getting caught out with.

matt88008

At least it’s only tax fraud. Arsenal already have enough players who have been defrauding the club and its fans for years! Wilshere, Arteta, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck have all garnered huge pay packets for the privilege of membership in the leisure and recreational facilities at the Emirates outpatients department, only interrupted by the minor inconvenience of actually having to pull on an Arsenal shirt and play a game occasionally!

arseblog
Admin

What a ridiculous comparison.

Arsepedant

That’s idiotic from beginning to end.

colorado arse

Is any one else a little relieved seeing him not giving 110%?

Carlos_Santana

Alexis gonna be needing them goal bonuses now Haha here come the hat tricks!

Sant Carzor

While he was unlikely to be across the detail of his tax affairs, he would have known he was minimising tax through a tax haven. Thinking otherwise is naive.

David M

Well at least we can rule out a return to spain

Jan

Truly interesting discussion today among fellow Arsenalfans. I can make sense of most of it. Keep it up you Gooners

BODMAS

Ask the incoming president of USA, Trump how he advoided tax for almost 20 years and still no penalty. Either way,I am not blaming any Barcelona players… They don’t just know Putin… COYG

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