Jose fined for not declaring payment

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho applauds after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur  on Dec 11, 2016.
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho applauds after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur on Dec 11, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been fined by the Spanish tax authorities for failing to pay any tax on a remittance of more than £1 million (S$1.8 million) by his club to his agent - which he should have declared as a benefit in kind.

Leaked documents reveal that tax inspectors last year demanded the Portuguese pay £1.22 million in unpaid tax and penalties after finding that he had failed to declare £1.4 million in payments by his former club Real Madrid to his agent, Jorge Mendes.

Mourinho's lawyers challenged the ruling, claiming that his agent had been acting solely in Real's interests. They claimed he had not received assistance from anybody during the talks.

However, the Spanish tax inspectorate rejected these claims.

The new revelations have increased calls for a criminal inquiry into Mourinho's tax affairs, after The Times of London revealed evidence last week that suggested his advisers had misled the tax authorities in Britain and Spain during their investigations into more than £10 million in earnings hidden through a Caribbean tax haven.

Dr Albert Sanchez-Graells, a senior lecturer in law at Bristol University, said: "The documentation suggests potential fraud and is cause for an in-depth investigation into the lawyers' intervention both from a criminal law perspective and with a view to their debarment."

Mourinho denies he has committed a criminal offence and his advisers deny misleading the authorities. However, he did not respond on whether his advisers may have further misled the Spanish authorities over the Mendes payments.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Jose fined for not declaring payment'. Print Edition | Subscribe