How accountable is Messi for his tax troubles?

FC Barcelona and Argentina football star Lionel Messi says he has no involvement in his financial affairs.

Messi is on trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud. Together with his father, the record-breaking footballer is accused of defrauding Spain of 4.1 million Euros.

It is alleged that Messi and his father used tax havens to conceal his image rights earnings.

Speaking at his trial on Thursday, Messi says that he knew nothing about how his finances were being managed, as he was focused on playing football.

Ettiene Retief, Chairperson of the Tax Committee for the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), says that although it is common for high-earning sports personalities to let other people handle their tax affairs, ignorance is not an excuse for tax offences.

Listen to the conversation below:

Most tax authorities aren't really keen to put someone in jail for purposes of tax. At the end of the day, they want to make sure you pay your fair share

Ettiene Retief, Chairperson of the Tax Committee for the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)

When you're dealing with tax fraud, it's beyond just collecting taxes. It is also the case of fraud one has to deal with

Ettiene Retief, Chairperson of the Tax Committee for the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)

It's a common thing for sports people, actors and actresses to leave their tax affairs to other people. The problem from a legal perspective is that ignorance is not an excuse

Ettiene Retief, Chairperson of the Tax Committee for the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)

If Messi is found guilty, he could face up to 22 months in jail for fraud

Ettiene Retief, Chairperson of the Tax Committee for the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
Read More
Panama Papers: Is it about confidentiality or illegal transactions?

Panama Papers: Is it about confidentiality or illegal transactions?

The infamous Panama Papers have fingered various politicians and business people in money laundering and tax evasion following a leak from Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca.

Panama Papers: How the global data leak unravelled

Panama Papers: How the global data leak unravelled

World leaders, celebrities, sport stars & business moguls are all named in a data leak exposing tax evasion and money laundering.

‘Panama Papers’ reveal worldwide web of corruption by leaders and celebs

‘Panama Papers’ reveal worldwide web of corruption by leaders and celebs

Khulubuse Zuma, Jackie Chan, Lionel Messi... A huge leak has exposed a massive web of tax evation and corruption.

Panama Papers: 'It's the shadow banking system' says Richard Poplak

Panama Papers: 'It's the shadow banking system' says Richard Poplak

One of the biggest off-shore law firms has 11.5 million files leaked, and there's fallout for rich who exploit these tax havens.

Does Lionel Messi deserve winning the Ballon d'Or?

Does Lionel Messi deserve winning the Ballon d'Or?

Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or award as the world's best player for the fifth time, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

Popular articles
Last chance for Spur's 2-for-1 burger special this Monday

Last chance for Spur's 2-for-1 burger special this Monday

Monday (March 27) is your last chance to sink your teeth into the popular burger special which Spur will discontinue from April.

Budget 2017: DA hoped for spending cuts, not tax increases

Budget 2017: DA hoped for spending cuts, not tax increases

The DA believes that raising taxes is not the answer to South Africa's economic woes and propose more cost-cutting for government.

Meet self-made millionaire (net worth – R400m!) property mogul Sisa Ngebulana

Meet self-made millionaire (net worth – R400m!) property mogul Sisa Ngebulana

How did Ngebulana build his empire? The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed him for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

5 reasons why the tourism industry is sceptical about the latest numbers

5 reasons why the tourism industry is sceptical about the latest numbers

The tourism industry is questioning the veracity of the surprisingly upbeat tourism figures and the timing of their release.