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Neymar to be investigated by tax authorities

Spanish tax authorities are investigating a bonus that the Brazilian footballer Neymar earned after he extended his contract with FC Barcelona, as well as his record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), according to Spanish media.

The newspaper El Mundo said the authorities are looking at whether 27-year-old Neymar paid tax in Spain related to the two deals.

Neymar transferred from Barça to PSG on a five-year deal for a world record 222 million euros in 2017.

Reports state the intervention of the tax authorities in an ongoing judicial procedure is rare and has been ordered to determine if Neymar paid the correct taxes on his 64.4m euro bonus and on the 222m euro transfer to PSG.

Neymar playing for Barça against PSG in 2014 (by FC Barcelona / via ACN)

Neymar and Barcelona are already fighting in court over the bonus the player received in 2016 after signing a new 5-year deal with the club, only 9 months before joining PSG.

Barça are suing Neymar for 8.5m euros for breach of contract, and demanding he return the bonus money paid to him.

In return, Neymar is suing Barça to pay his entire renewal bonus.

A hearing is scheduled for 21 March at a Barcelona labour court.

ALSO READ: Ronaldo avoids jail, gets hefty fine for tax fraud

Neymar is just one of several famous footballers who have fallen foul of Spain’s tax authorities in recent years.

A Spanish court in January handed Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo a suspended two-year prison sentence for committing tax fraud when he was at Real Madrid.

The player, who joined Italian side Juventus last year, also agreed to pay 18.8 million euros in fines and back taxes to settle the case, according to judicial sources.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, once Ronaldo’s big La Liga rival, paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term.

The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros, equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.

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