Spain’s Supreme Court said Wednesday it had annulled a lower court ruling ordering Barcelona defender Gerard Pique to pay the country’s tax office 2.1 million euros in back taxes and fines.
A court in 2016 ruled that the player had avoided paying 1.5 million euros ($2.4 million) in taxes due in 2008, 2009 and 2010 by simulating the transfer of his image rights to a company he controls called Kerad Project.
It ordered him to pay this amount as well as a fine of 600,000 euros, bringing the total bill to 2.1 million euros.
This ruling was upheld in 2019 by Spain’s top criminal court, the National Court, but Pique appealed.
The Supreme Court rejected the argument that Kerad Project was simply a front and recognised its work as legitimate.
It also ruled that contributions which Pique paid to social security in Britain when he played for Manchester United can be considered as a deductible expense since they are mandatory.
Pique’s partner, Colombian pop star Shakira, is also being investigated for alleged tax evasion in Spain. She denies any wrongdoing.
The couple live near Barcelona with their two children.