Iniesta wins two million-dollar lawsuits against the Treasury in court

Iniesta wins two million-dollar lawsuits against the Treasury in court

The Contentious Chamber of the National Court this Tuesday agreed with the footballer Andres Iniestaagainst the claims of the Tax Agency for the Personal income tax from 2010 to 2015 and for payments to his agent Ramon Sostrescanceling settlements and sanctions of an amount greater than 4 million euros.

The court, as reported by El Confidencial and confirmed by EFE through the ruling of the National Court, listened to the footballer’s explanations in two parallel proceedings. In December 2023, he Supreme Court and the National Court have already reviewed the way in which Iniesta paid taxes for his image rights and for payments to Sostres and the footballer was waiting for the resolution of these last two lawsuits.

The National Court was clear regarding the 2010 and 2011 settlements: “we annul the settlement and penalty agreements corresponding to personal income tax for the years 2010 and 2011 because they have expired,” the ruling stated.

Regarding the Treasury claims from 2012 to 2015, as reported by El Confidencial, the court concludes that it only maintains part of the claim from the first year for payments to its agent, but knocks down the rest.

Iniesta’s problem with image rights comes from the time in which I still played in Barcelona. The footballer transferred his rights to the Maresyterey company in an operation similar to that of other players, who collected part of his income through professional companies. That allowed them to pay 25 percent for corporate tax and not the 45 percent that would have corresponded to personal income tax.

When there are these types of transfers to a company with which there is an obvious connection, explains El Confidencial, The Treasury ensures that it is done at market value and not through a symbolic price. In the case of Maresyterey, Iniesta appeared as the majority partner of the company. The transfer of its rights allowed it to collect from Barcelona and its different brands for their commercial exploitation.

The National Court heard the appeal in this specific case and endorsed the payments of the Barça club to Maresyterey by the 85/15 rule, which allows players to divide the salary of their clubs between 85 percent coming from the employment contract and the 15 percent of image rights billed through a company with Corporate Tax.

The ruling ruled that Iniesta respected those percentages, so he rejected the Treasury request. Likewise, he rejected the Tax Agency’s calculation regarding the payments that Iniesta received from other brands for his image rights.

Regarding the Treasury claim regarding the relationship between Iniesta, Sostres and Barcelona in 2012, the National Court also ruled in favor of the footballer. In that year, the Barça club paid Tax Fides, a company linked to the agent, for alleged representation work. The Tax Agency maintained that Sostres only worked for Iniesta and the National Court accepted the judges’ reasoning as valid.

These stressed that “in reality” they were remunerating the representation services provided by Sostres to Iniesta in the negotiations of his contracts and for that reason the amount of 495,635 euros was attributed to Iniesta as work income.

The National Court accepted this reasoning and annulled the sanction that the Tax Agency imposed on the footballer and Iniesta became another player to emerge victorious in a dispute before the Treasury. In the past, Gerard Piqué and Xabi Alonso were also acquitted.

2024-04-16 16:47:22
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