This was not a good day for Neymar. A Brazilian court has ordered the Barcelona star to pay over $188.8 million reales (€45m) in back taxes, interest and penalties after being found guilty of tax evasion and tax fraud.
The Brazilian is expected to appeal the decision before the Brasilia Tax Appeals Board.
According to the court ruling, Neymar used his company, Neymar y Deporte Marketing y N + N, N & N Consulting y Gestión de Activos, to avoid the payment of 56.36 million euros in taxes between 2012 and 2014. The judges studying the case ruled that Neymar used false contracts to circumvent paying the full tax amount due.
“We studied the information regarding the tax case in question involving Neymar, the three businesses and his business partners [his parents] and we found that there had been fraudulent business practices,” wrote Develly Claudia Montez, who performed the audit for the court.
Neymar is also facing allegations of corruption and fraud in Spain in relation to his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
Regardless of how much your earn €45m is a lot of money. And it could only be a down payment on what Neymar ends up having to shelve out if he loses the trial in Spain.
Neymar has been widely expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona, but if he ends up with €60-70m in tax penalties would that cause him to force through a transfer to another club where he could get a huge signing bonus?
If so then Man United, Man City and PSG would be lined up to sign the Brazilian in a deal that would smash all transfer records.