Barcelona forward, Leo Messi has been exonerated in his tax fraud case by two tax office experts, who testified to the court that the Argentine did not take any part in the management of his image rights and thus was unknowingly not paying taxes that should have been paid by his advisors.
The Spanish tax authority accused Leo and his father, Jorge Messi of tax evasion, after they alleged that the two individuals had failed to pay €4 million in back taxes in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
According to Spanish sports daily, Marca, the tax office officials, who had originally explained how Messi had strategically avoided paying image rights tax, now believe that Messi, who was 20 years old at the time, had no knowledge of the unpaid taxes and had no part in handling his image rights.
The defense continues to pursue Jorge Messi, who is also Leo’s agent, for the charge as they believe it was he who had been the one to try and defraud the tax authorities.
In the beginning of September, Messi paid a reparatory payment of €5 million (the €4 million in back taxes plus interest earned on the amount) to avoid a bond being set and also an act of good faith, which has appeared to have had it’s intended effect.