The tax authorities claim 4.5 million euros from Fernando Santos. Picker guarantees he doesn’t owe ‘a single penny’ – Observer

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The tax administration declared that Fernando Santos had a debt of 4.5 million euros after realizing that the national coach would have received in the years 2016 and 2017 almost 10 million euros, having only declared that an annual salary of 70 thousand euros (5 thousand euros per month) and pay the IRS only on this amount. But, according to the coach and the Portuguese Football Federation, the sums due will have already been paid, so that Fernando Santos currently claims not to owe “a single penny to the taxman”.

The information was provided by Expresso, which states that the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) hired the Portuguese coach and his assistants through a company, Femacosa. When they received remuneration through this company, they did not declare their salaries entirely to the tax authorities, specifies the same newspaper. Thus, according to Expresso, there is a lack of taxation on the amount which was not declared by the coach.

The Tax Authority (TA) concludes that Fernando Santos received income from the FPF and his salary in a clever way created to reduce taxes. The 67-year-old coach, who had already declared last November that he did not tolerate tax evasion schemes, advanced an indictment and seized the Administrative Arbitration Center. The coach is represented by Morais Leitão, a company that has clients like Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Femacosa, created in January 2014, has Fernando Santos as managing partner. The years investigated by the tax authorities were conquests for the national team, which won the European Championship in 2016. The national coach refused, according to the newspaper Expresso, to comment on the case.

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However, this Friday, the coach already come to react to the news, through a joint statement issued with the Portuguese Football Federation. The text begins by “deploring the flagrant and manifestly truncated violation of the right to tax secrecy” then ensures that the transactions promoted by the tax administration have already been carried out. “fully and promptly paid”.

Conclusion: Fernando Santos “not only don’t owe a single penny to the tax authorities because it has constantly had its tax situation regularized under the conditions provided for by law”.

The same statement clarifies that the Federation and the coach never ‘withheld or misled’ information about their contractual relationship and thus declared all payments and income due. However, they recognize that there is a “divergence” concerning the interpretation of the tax administration, but which will be decided by an arbitration tribunal, a process that Fernando Santos awaits with “serenity and confidence”. If the court proves to be right, he underlines, he will be entitled to “full reimbursement of the sums paid”.

Text updated at 7:48 a.m. with joint statement from Fernando Santos and the Portuguese Football Federation.

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