EUR 39 million Tax Bill - Can Maradona Avoid Tackles From The Tax Man?
05 November, 2013
The case of Lionel Messi has only just been settled when another Argentinean soccer star gets into trouble.
Between the years 1984-1991 Diego Armando Maradona played in Italy, mostly for Napoli. He contributed to the clubs double victory in the national competition and UEFA cup.
And according to the authorities, he has not always paid his taxes.
Driven by the lack of funds collected from tax payers, the Italian tax authorities started taking steps towards freezing Maradonas Italian assets in order to collect on his presumably massive tax debts. And since we are in Italy, the drama is ever present:
Already in 2006 an Italian court order justified the police confiscating Maradonas two golden Rolex watches worth EUR 25,000 when the former soccer God traveled to Italy for a benefit match. Then in 2009, while sweating at a weight loss clinic in Merano, the police again grabbed his jewels this time three diamond earrings worth EUR 5,000.
This all is happening with the consent of the court that rules that the tax authorities are free to grab anything they see within Maradonas assets that might be worth something.
Now this month, Maradona came to Italy to promote a new release of the DVD series about his life and career. After a day spent at Gazzetta dello Sport in Rome, he was returning to his hotel for a quiet evening with a dinner at a local restaurant. At 20.30 the two Equitalia (Italian tax collection agency) officials knocked at his hotel room door. But he did not feel like having other company than his partner.
The two tax men however waited till next morning and knocked at the door again. This time he opened the door And the box of tax-Pandora of the Italian authorities who now have 180 days to confiscate whichever assets they can get their hands on up to the presumed tax debt value of EUR 39 million.
Needless to say that according to Maradona the debt is not just. Earlier this week, while traveling to Dubai, the 53 year old former enfant terrible of the world soccer said to media that he would love to meet Sophia Loren and discuss with her how she managed to shake off the taxman. Back in the seventies, the now 79 years old legendary Italian actress was accused of tax evasion and even spent 2 weeks in jail back in 1982 only to win her case against the tax man and clean up her name several days ago!
But a lesson is learned here. You can be one of the worlds best soccer player of all time, but when you stick your hand of god in the cookie jar of the tax man you are tackled. You end up face down on the pitch and pull grass out of your ears for the coming six days
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