Arsenal news: Alexis Sanchez's agent responds to player's tax fraud allegation
After allegations that Arsenal forward, Alexis Sanchez committed tax fraud in his time at Barcelona, the player's agent, Fernando Felicevich has come out strongly denying the accusations. According to El Periodico, Sanchez is under investigation for supposedly failing to pay tax on earnings of around £900,000 in 2012 and 2013.
Sanchez is believed to have used a company named Numidia Trading, an offshore organisation that is based in Malta. The Chilean owns 99% of the company and is believed to have used them in order to get paid for his image rights. The forward's image rights income was around £531,325 in 2012 and £357,816 in 2013.
“Alexis Sanchez has fully complied with each and every law in all the countries he has resided in, so he has paid all the taxes to the relevant local authorities. Likewise, all his personal income and the ones related to his image right have been declared to the different national authorities,” Felicevich said in a statement.
As per the statement, Spanish law allowed a part of the image rights income to go through a company as long as it does not exceed 15% of the total payment that is made by the football club. However, a new interpretation is that all the income needs to be assigned fully to the player (Sanchez, in this case), unlike the how the law was interpreted earlier.
Lionel Messi was, earlier this year, found guilty of tax fraud and handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence. It remains to be seen what will ensue in the case of Sanchez, following Felicevich's statement. The agent is confident regarding his client's innocence and states that Sanchez has paid all his due taxes.
The agent also went on to state the new interpretation has affected the way that players can declare their incomes on image rights and it seems that Sanchez is not the only player affected by this change. It remains to be seen whether any other players, if any, will be charged with committing fraud.
Sanchez, who moved to Arsenal for £35 million in 2014, has been in top form for the Gunners this season. In 14 appearances, the Chilean has scored 8 times. After scoring twice against Sunderland in the Gunners’ most recent Premier League fixture, Sanchez will be looking to continue his league form in the forthcoming North London derby on Sunday.
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