Iniesta pays additional tax owed in Japan

Andres Iniesta speaks during his farewell ceremony at Vissel Kobe last year (-)
Andres Iniesta speaks during his farewell ceremony at Vissel Kobe last year (-)

Andres Iniesta said he has paid additional tax owed in Japan over his failure to declare part of his income, but claimed that he had also declared the earnings in Spain.

Spanish World Cup winner Iniesta, who spent five years with Japan's Vissel Kobe until 2023, was found to have failed to declare approximately 860 million yen ($5.7 million) in income for 2018, according to public broadcaster NHK and other media.

If a foreign player's contract is for less than one year and they are not accompanied by family members, Japanese authorities classify them as non-residents and they pay less tax than residents, reports said, citing the National Tax Agency.

The Osaka regional tax bureau judged that during 2018 Iniesta was a resident as he lived with his family members and was on a multi-year contract.

He was issued with an additional tax demand of approximately 580 million yen as a result.

"In fiscal 2018, I reported my income from all of the world to taxation authorities in Spain," Iniesta said in a statement issued through his management company.

"The Japanese taxation authorities began an investigation with focus on my residence status under tax rules, and concluded that I was a resident (in Japan) during part of 2018," he said in the statement, obtained by AFP on Sunday.

Iniesta has now paid the additional tax demanded, the statement said.

"Therefore, the income during the period is under double taxation," he said, adding that he has demanded excess tax payment be returned based on the two country's agreement on double taxation.

The Osaka regional taxation bureau declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

News agency Kyodo reported last week that South Korea goalkeeper Kim Jin-hyeon and Brazilian forward Patric had also failed to declare their income properly in Japan.

Cerezo Osaka keeper Kim has been ordered to pay 220 million yen in back taxes and Patric, previously at Gamba Osaka and currently at Nagoya Grampus, 210 million yen, Kyodo said.

Cerezo Osaka declined to comment, citing privacy concerns, while Gamba Osaka said they were "handling the matter appropriately and under the guidance of the tax authorities and the J-League", the report added.

kh-stu/aha