Crime & Justice

Diego Costa agrees half a million euro fine for tax evasion

Madrid, Jun 4 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa agreed on Thursday to pay 543,000 euros ($608,179) for tax fraud.

He admitted failing to pay more than one million euros of personal income tax in 2014, a debt he repaid in August last year.

Judges at a regional Madrid court handed the Brazil-born Spanish international a six-month prison sentence, which Costa avoided with a payment of 36,000 euros on top of a 507,000 euros fine he was ordered to pay.

Public prosecutors agreed on the deal after recognizing that the footballer repaid a 1,142,888 euros debt he owed to Spain’s public coffers on 8 August.

Costa renewed his contract with Atletico Madrid on 5 August 2013, extending it to 30 June 2018.

By 13 June 2014, he and the Madrid club terminated the contract before his transfer to London club Chelsea, which was completed 12 days later.

On 1 July, he penned the contract to ply his trade with the Premier League side until 30 June with a gross income of 10.02 million euros a season.

When filing his personal income taxes in Spain for the 2014 fiscal year he omitted around 5.15 million euros of deductible income related to the Chelsea transfer.

He also omitted 1.37 million euros corresponding to images rights, prosecutors said.

Costa was not the first player in Spain to be brought before judges for tax fraud.

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