The Spanish media has reported that Lionel Messi has paid as much €10 million to tax authorities, to correct tax returns for 2010 and 2011.
Barcelona and Argentina superstar Messi and his father Jorge are under investigation for tax evasion relating to unpaid image rights taxes in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
It is alleged that Messi’s tax evasion amounts to around €4 million of unpaid taxes.
He denies the state prosecutor’s accusation, and is allegedly seeking a deal by which he can explain what happened to his image rights money during the three years in question.
According to a report in Monday’s edition of La Vanguardia, Messi has now paid a bumper sum to the tax man, ostensibly to head off investigation into his current image rights tax affairs.
Messi is the world’s tenth highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes magazine. He reportedly earns as much $41.3 million per year, with half of that amount deriving from image rights and personal endorsements.
It is that portion of his salary that is problematic to state prosecutor Raquel Amado, who claims that from 2006-09 Messi "obtained significant revenue derived from the transfer to third parties of his image rights, income which should have been taxed."