The national court of Spain has ruled that LaLiga soccer giants Barcelona must pay close to $25 million in personal income tax payments.
This order from the Central Economic Administrative Court (TEAC) to the tune of €23 million ($24.8 million) comes with regard to payments made to various agents of players at Barcelona between January 2012 and June 2015 – these did not have tax paid on them.
The original decision by the Spanish tax authorities had been appealed by the Catalan giants (back in mid-2020) to that national court, which on Friday (February 9) rejected that appeal.
However, Barcelona have now said in a statement that they intend to appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court.
The original sum that the club was meant to have paid – $9.45 million – has now been more than doubled by penalties for late payments for each year between 2012 and 2015 (inclusive). The heaviest of those penalties is $5.6 million, covering 2014.
The original decision by the TEAC stated that “the payments made by the club have been made in the name and on behalf of the players who are the actual recipients of the services provided by the agents,” with the agents having been “providing a service commissioned by the club or are representing the club.”
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Barcelona, meanwhile, have commented that: “FC Barcelona has been informed of the verdict on income tax of the national court regarding the appeal presented by the club with respect to the tax inspection concerning payments made to players' agents between 2012 and 2015.
“FC Barcelona shall be presenting an appeal to the Supreme Court. This ruling does not entail any payment obligation for the club at present, this contingency being properly provisioned in the annual accounts.”
This adds further economic issues to the existing pile that Barcelona face.
The club is currently rebuilding its iconic Nou Camp stadium and has had to pull several economic ‘levers’ to secure funding for an on-field revamp of its playing squad while also engaged with the stadium rebuild.
At the start of January, media reported that the club was set on entering into a lawsuit against German investment firm Libero over the non-payment of funds.
Libero had agreed to pay Barcelona €40 million for a 10% stake in the club’s Barça Vision non-fungible token platform.
After multiple delays from Libero, however, the deadline for payment (the end of December, according to reports) passed with no funds transferred.
The club’s current debt is believed to be around $1.29 billion.
On the pitch, meanwhile, the club are 10 points behind bitter rivals Real Madrid, who sit at the top of the LaLiga table with 14 matches remaining.