This was not a good day for Neymar. A Brazilian court has ordered the Barcelona star to pay over $188.8 million reales (€45m) in back taxes, interest and penalties after being found guilty of tax evasion and tax fraud.
The Brazilian is expected to appeal the decision before the Brasilia Tax Appeals Board.
According to the court ruling, Neymar used his company, Neymar y Deporte Marketing y N + N, N & N Consulting y Gestión de Activos, to avoid the payment of 56.36 million euros in taxes between 2012 and 2014. The judges studying the case ruled that Neymar used false contracts to circumvent paying the full tax amount due.
“We studied the information regarding the tax case in question involving Neymar, the three businesses and his business partners [his parents] and we found that there had been fraudulent business practices,” wrote Develly Claudia Montez, who performed the audit for the court.
Neymar is also facing allegations of corruption and fraud in Spain in relation to hisextremely lucrative 2013 move from Brazilian club Santos to Barcelona owing to allegations that directors at the two clubs and the player connived to conceal the full cost of the transfer.
Last month a court in Brazil moved to freeze €40m worth of assets belonging to Neymar, including the forward’s private jet, a yacht and several properties in Brazil.
The ruling will not halt a separate fraud probe being investigated in Spain, based on a complaint by a Brazilian investment fund called DIS, which had acquired 40 per cent of Neymar’s sporting rights before he left Santos.
DIS has claimed that it was cheated of its rightful share of the transfer deal, said by Barcelona to be worth €57.1 million, but which Spanish prosecutors believe was actually more than €83 million. The remainder is said to have ended up in the N&N network of family companies.
Regardless of how much your earn, €45m is a lot of money to have to pay out. And that could only be a down payment on what Neymar ends up having to shelve out if he loses the other cases.
Neymar has been widely expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona, but if he ends up with €60-70m in tax penalties would that cause him to force through a transfer to another club where he could get a huge signing bonus?
If so then Man United, Man City and PSG would be lined up to sign the Brazilian in a deal that would smash all transfer records.