March 2, 2021

The National Court confirms that the footballer Gerard Piqué must pay 2.1 million to the Treasury

The Fourth Section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National Court has confirmed the sanctions imposed by the Central Administrative Economic Court on the footballer Gerard Piqué, who must pay the Treasury 2.1 million euros in taxes that he did not face in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 simulating a contract of image rights with a company of which it is a majority shareholder.

The ruling, dated May 13, dismisses Piqué's appeal against that previous ruling ordering him to regularize the IRPF of those three years from four specific businesses amounting to 1,457,855.61 euros, procedure which resulted in a penalty of 678,012.59 euros more in June 2013.

The Inspection concluded that Piqué had simulated through a company (Kerard Project 2006) the transfer of its image rights to pay less taxes in June 2006, arguing, first of all, that he had sold them to that company with which he had connection for "a totally ridiculous price and out of reality", 3,000 euros, whose payment had not even been credited.

He added that after this transfer, the athlete continued to sign contracts that included the transfer of those same rights that in theory already belonged to the merchant, which filed tax returns in the United Kingdom in which it declared income from sponsorship rights. And that, in any case, Kerad Project did not declare the intangible asset in its balance sheet until 2008 and the agreement had no effect before third parties.

The National Court recalls that already the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia ruled in May 2018 before a Kerad Project appeal that the contract with Piqué was "null" and therefore the tax base of corporate income derived from income should be excluded of the exploitation of the author's rights as income of the company, as well as of the expenses associated with said exploitation.

"The Chamber assumes the decision of the Superior Court of Justice as its own, with the consequence of dismissing the challenge to this part of the regularization and to consider that the income derived from the exploitation of such image rights constitute income from movable capital attributable to the plaintiff" , says Section Four.

He makes the arguments of the Catalan TSJ, which took for granted that in that transfer of image rights to Kerard Project had been an "orchestrated simulation in the sense that the obligatory tributary appears to perform with the contract dated on June 23 of 2006, a legal business that does not actually exist, without real cause, in order to prevent the Tax Administration from knowing the legal reality and the actual taxable event ".

The ruling analyzes each of the regularizations subject to sanctions, including the one relating to the relationship between Kerard Project, International Management Group (IMG) and Fútbol Club Barcelona. According to the agreements signed between Barça and IMG on May 16, 2008 and February 26, 2010, "they are simulated contracts that absolutely implement the payment of the commissions that Gerard Piqué Bernabeu had to pay IMG as representative of the player".

"The only conclusion that derives from the data indicated is that the payment of the commissions to IMG was made by the FCB on behalf of Gerard Pique Bernabeu and that this was implemented through a contract between the FCB and simulated IMG absolutely lacking of cause ", exposes the ruling, against which it is possible to appeal before the Supreme Court.

(tagsToTranslate) Audience (t) National (t) confirms (t) Pique (t) Treasury

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