The National audience has confirmed the Resolution of the Central Economic Administrative Court (TEAC) that imposed the Barcelona Football Club the payment of almost 23 million euros by personal income tax between the years 2012 to 2015 derived from the remuneration paid to the players’ sports agents.
In a ruling, the Fourth Section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber has rejected the appeal presented by FC Barcelona against the TEAC Resolution June 2020, derived from the 2018 agreements of the deputy head of the Technical Office of the Tax and Customs Control Unit (DAST) of the Central Delegation of Large Taxpayers (DCGC) for which liquidation and sanctioning resolutions were carried out for the concept of Withholding/payment on account of income from work/professional personal income tax for the periods between January 2012 and June 2015.
The amount derived from the total tax settlement was 8,764,118 euros while, as a penalty, he was ordered to pay 3,031,893 euros for the year 2012, 4,348,402 euros (2013), 5,172,955 euros (2014) and 1,414,158 euros (2015). According to the National Court, the underlying issue is the nature of the services provided by the players’ agents.
The Administration argued that the remuneration paid by the club to the players’ agents, given that they provide their services to the players and not the club, in accordance with the provisions of the Player Agent Regulations, They are in the nature of work income and are subject to withholding at the time of payment.so you are obliged to practice and enter the corresponding withholding.
He FC Barcelonafor its part, maintained that the amounts paid to the agents hired by the club correspond to the remuneration agreed for their services provided to the sports entity and, in this sense, they cannot be attributed as remuneration to the players. the amounts that correspond to services provided to the club.
Some arguments that have not convinced the National Court, which endorses the TEAC Resolution and declares that simulation has existed. “From the facts verified by the Inspection, it appears that the payments made by the club have been in the name and on behalf of the athletes who are the actual recipients of the services provided by the agents, while it appears that the agents are providing a service commissioned by the club or representing the club, which It is not accredited in any way and the reality reflected in the documents in the file is contrary to these circumstances, since the agents represent the players and act in their interest.. The Inspection reaches the conclusion that the relationship implemented between the FCB and the agents only serves to cover the payments made by the Club to the players. This appreciation is shared by the Chamber,” he concludes.
The court explains that in tax simulation it is necessary to use devices aimed at tax avoidance, that is, to enjoy tax advantages that do not correspond to the actual operation carried out. The aim, he adds, is to obtain a more favorable tax treatment of the taxable event and its concurrent circumstances than would correspond to the actual operation.
In the present case, the ruling states, “it appears that the club is remunerating the agent for non-existent services, when in reality part of the remuneration is being paid to the player in this way, for the services he provides to the club, with the corresponding tax incidence, which affects IS, VAT and Income Taxdistorting the tax base of such tax concepts.”