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08 Feb 2018

Sanchez sentenced to 16-months in prison but will avoid jail-time

Alexis Sanchez escapes jail sentence for tax fraud

Manchester United fans are thanking their stars right now.

It has not been even a month since Alexis Sanchez moved to Manchester United and became the highest paid player in EPL.

Now, he had to strike a deal with Spanish authorities to accept a 16-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud.

However, due to Spanish law, he will avoid jail-time. Here's why!

In context

Alexis Sanchez escapes jail sentence for tax fraud
Sanchez guilty of one million Euro tax fraud

Guilty as charged

Sanchez guilty of one million Euro tax fraud

Alexis Sanchez, who joined Manchester United from Arsenal last month, faced the possibility of being tried over a one million Euro tax fraud, linked to his image rights during his time in Barcelona in 2012 and 2013.

Sanchez joins the list of high profile footballers from the La Liga, who have fallen in trouble with the tax authorities.

Escapes prison

Sanchez avoids jail sentence for tax fraud

Sanchez has been fined €590,065 and will not receive any public aid or tax incentives for a period of two years.

The 29-year-old fleet-footed forward accepted two 8 month prison terms.

However, he will not spend any time in prison unless he commits another tax fraud in the next two years.

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Why isn't Sanchez going to jail?

According to the law in Spain, first-time tax evasion offender, whose prison sentence does not exceed two years, doesn't need to serve time in prison if they pay the money they owe to the Spanish treasury along with interest and a fine.

Sanchez is not the only guilty top footballer

Among the many

Sanchez is not the only guilty top footballer

Spain has seen several top footballers accused of tax evasion in the past few years.

Sanchez's current manager at Manchester United, Jose Mourinho also had tax complications from his time in Spain with Real Madrid.

In fact, Alexis Sanchez's attorney David Aineto is the same man who helped his former Barcelona team-mate, Javier Mascherano escape a prison sentence.

Messi guilty too

Footballs famous three also accused of financial crimes

Even the top footballers in the world right now, Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar have been accused of financial crimes by Spanish authorities.

Messi and his father were convicted of €4.1m tax fraud and were handed a 21-month jail sentence.

Ronaldo has been accused of four counts of tax fraud and Neymar faces trial over financial crimes regarding his transfer to Barcelona.

Why are La Liga players accused of fraud?

Tax benefit

Why are La Liga players accused of fraud?

Spain had created a new tax-exemption scheme to attract foreign talent to the nation across all sectors in 2003.

This law is popularly known as the Beckham Law since England superstar, David Beckham joined Real Madrid and was one of the first players to sign a six-year-long tax ceiling of 24%, almost half of what Spaniards paid on six-figure-plus incomes.

Beckham law scrapped in 2010 for high income slabs

However, the Beckham law was scrapped for wages of more than €600,000 in 2010. Since then, the tax authorities have started to tighten their noose on tax defaulters who have resorted to using offshore shell companies to work around the tax laws of Spain.

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