October 18, 2021

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Diego Godin "waived" income from image rights to an offshore BVI company for a decade |  international |  News

Diego Godin “waived” income from image rights to an offshore BVI company for a decade | international | News

The player says he declared it in Spain and paid taxes as if the income was earned by him and not by society.

The player says he declared it in Spain and paid taxes as if the income was received by him and not by the community,” from which family members were beneficiaries, according to the Bandura papers.

Uruguay captain Diego Godin made his La Liga debut on September 29, 2007 with Villarreal’s 2-0 win over Racing Santander. Months before the premiere
In Europe, when his departure was imminent, the footballer signed a contract to transfer his image rights to a limited company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), of which his sister and cousin were the ultimate beneficiaries.

Using overseas in low-tax jurisdictions to receive payment for image rights was a common practice among footballers who played in Europe, which led to penalties by the Spanish Treasury once they were discovered.

The structure which, with some changes, had been of the Godin family as benefactor for about 10 years, was similar to the structure used, among other things, by Luis Suarez and Argentine Angel Di Maria, according to the Pandora Papers, a global investigation coordinated by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

After consulting Busca in this investigation, Godin, cousin and ultimate beneficiary of Rumbrick Overseas Limited, Marcela Hellbling, said the footballer “immediately declared before the tax authorities of Spain – the country of tax residence in the period that the company was active (2007). -2016) – the existence of companies” and “the income obtained by these companies in connection with their image rights”. Therefore, he added, the footballer “personally paid (in his personal income tax settlement in that country) the taxes generated by that income, as if that income were received directly and not by society.”

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When asked for documents supporting the company’s declaration to authorities, he replied that “affidavits constitute confidential information, and therefore are not made public.”

The research stated that withholding information rests with the Treasury, but not with the taxpayer, so Godin or his advisors could show some type of supporting document, but did not receive a positive response.

Asked why a joint stock company structure was created if the footballer “personally paid” taxes, from Godin’s environment, they answered: “The structure was created because it was the usual and often required by European clubs.”

Bank account and other allotment. Among the more than 12 million leaked documents on which the Pandora Papers are based, there is a “image rights transfer agreement” that Godin signed with Rumbrick Overseas Limited in December 2006. For the company, he put the signature to the contract John B. Foster, tied to Estudio Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal), Panama-based corporate services provider.

According to the documents, the shareholders of the BVI company were Lucia Godin Leal, the footballer’s sister, and Hellbling.

The contract, whose date expires in December 2021, stipulated that the company would retain image rights “worldwide” as a “Godín person” as an individual person. It excluded from the task the “economic exploitation of footwear and sportswear” and the “economic exploitation of the collective image of a player as a member of any team” Football or the Uruguayan national football team.

In 2013, the structure built around Godin’s image rights became a bit more complex. With the footballer’s consent, Rumbrick Overseas signed a contract with Plausus UK Limited, based in the UK, a new transfer of rights. Plausus UK then served as director of Santiago Bararibar, the former director of London-based Nacional since 2007.

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The signed contract states that “Plausus is a company whose objective is to carry out commercial management, negotiation and signing of agreements for the use of images for the purposes of advertising and promotion of its converters, both in America and in the countries of the European Union.” He adds that the British company will pay the carrier (Rumbric Overseas Offshore) “75.5% of the net figures received from future operations of the transfer of image rights to sports entities and other commercial companies.”

On February 19, 2015, according to other documents listed in pandora leaves, Rumbrick Overseas opened a bank account at a UBS financial institution. The stated ultimate benefactor was Helbling, the footballer’s cousin.

A little more than a year later, in July 2016, at the request of the Godin family, the law firm Alcogal dissolved the company.

What are Pandora Leaves?

Suarez alert. The shutdown of the offshore company came months after other foreign players were convicted of tax evasion in Spain as a result of not paying taxes for their image rights, including Argentine Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.

The structure assembled by the Godin family is similar to the one that his colleague Luis Suarez had for several years. In 2017, Dutch media NRC revealed that between 2006 and 2014, until his signing with Barcelona, ​​the Uruguayan’s top scorer had earned income from image rights of Panama-registered Meltockets Investments SA.

Pandora’s papers show that Meltockets Investments, also set up by Alcogal, has a bank account with Credite Agricole, which for some time has been run by a Barcelona-based representative.

“As far as I know, Lewis granted the rights to his image in 2006, when he was 19, to Meltockets, a company he himself owns and has been declared to the corresponding tax authorities since Lewis was my client. In order to exploit these rights, the company paid an annual fee. To Luis,” the player’s agent, Per Guardiola, told NRC in 2017.

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When this news was published and since the company had not yet closed down, Alcogal decided to prepare a Suspicious Operation Report (ROS) before the Panamanian authorities. Alcogal cautioned that the information disclosed indicated that Suarez, the ultimate beneficiary of Meltockets Investments, “would have diverted” money from its advertising revenue.

The pandora leaves show it Di Maria is another soccer player in the Argentine national team. He handled at least $9.5 million, between 2013 and 2017, through a Panamanian company called Sunpex Corporation Inc. Through this outside,

Di María directed advertising income with brands like Adidas and Coca-Cola, among others, and managed investments in financial assets from a bank account in Switzerland, according to the Argentine team that worked on the investigation, made up of elDiarioAR, La Nación and Infobae.

Sunpex owns all image rights to Di María. From 2015 to the present, [el jugador] Subject to income tax in France. In other words, he pays taxes for everything he earns,” they explained about the footballer to the Argentine media.

The footballer assumed in 2017 that he committed a tax offense in Spain because of the money he directed between 2011 and 2013 through the Sunpex Corporation Inc. , which at the time revealed the “Football Leaks” investigation. As part of the agreement with the Spanish justice, the footballer paid a fine of 2 million euros for evasion. (I)