Brazilian tax appeal halves footballer Neymar’s tax fine

Barcelona football striker Neymar has had a 188.8m Brazilian reals (£49m) fine for tax fraud halved after a Brazilian tax appeals court ruled in his favour and reduced an earlier penalty for alleged non-payment of income tax

The judge has also ruled that Neymar is able to cede his image rights to family businesses, dismissing charges by federal auditors that they were front companies set up to dodge taxes.

According to the court documents, the Brazil international had used his businesses (Neymar Sport e Marketing, N & N Consultoria, N & N Administracao de Bens) to avoid paying taxes.

The alleged failure to report earnings from his contracts with Brazilian club Santos, Barcelona, Nike and other sponsors between 2011 and 2014 led to a fine, including back-taxes and interest. Brazil's federal tax office charged the player in 2015 with evading 63m reals (£16.5m) in taxes due.

At the appeal, auditors were unable to prove that the player should have paid individual income tax of 27.5% on the earnings rather than the lower corporate rate which was used.

Other charges of evading Brazilian taxes on his 2013 transfer to Barcelona remain open. Neymar and his father could face a trial on tax evasion and fraud charges later this year in connection with the transfer deal.

However, Barcelona confirmed at the end of 2016 that proceedings brought against the club for the misappropriation of funds when signing Neymar have now been closed.

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