Royal family: Spanish tax administration verifies payments from the royal family to ex-King Juan Carlos | Spain

Spain’s tax agency asked Royal Household employees for information on all payments made to former monarch Juan Carlos I between June 2014 and 2018, sources familiar with the investigation told EL PAÍS.

The audit is part of a Supreme Court investigation into potential tax crimes. Prosecutors are investigating the bank account into which King Felipe VI’s father received his annual allowance of € 198,845, to verify whether the payments established by the Spanish national budget match the deposits and withdrawals made by Juan Carlos I during this period. . Sources in La Zarzuela, the royal residence, told this newspaper that employees have already provided relevant information and answered questions from tax inspectors.

Tax authorities are also investigating deposits Royal Household employees made to Juan Carlos’ bank account at his request. Sources close to the former head of state said it was “small sums to pay for items in stores.” Inspectors are now trying to trace the origin of the money that was used to make these payments.

This latest audit follows two major payments made by Juan Carlos recently to regularize his tax situation in connection with other alleged financial irregularities. In December 2020, he paid € 678,393 to avoid possible criminal prosecution for his links to Mexican businessman Allen Sangines-Krause, who allegedly paid the ex-monarch’s private expenses between 2016 and 2019, using money that was not declared in Spain either. as personal income or as a donation.

Juan Carlos in Abu Dhabi, where he has lived since August 2020.Twitter

The second time around, he paid 4.4 million euros for hundreds of private flights paid for by a foundation named Zagatka and owned by Álvaro de Orleans, a cousin of Juan Carlos. These non-cash donations were still subject to Spanish income tax which was not paid at the time. The funds for this tax regularization were collected from entrepreneurs who were personal friends of the former king, and these people were invited by the Spanish tax administration to justify the origin of their contributions, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Supreme Court Attorney Juan Ignacio Campos is investigating this second tax payment by Juan Carlos after determining that the Zagatka Foundation made large cash payments. On February 24, he sent a request for information to Switzerland, where the foundation had accounts.

Felipe VI deprived his father of his allowance in March 2020, following media reports reporting a separate Swiss investigation into a multi-million euro donation received by a businesswoman named Corinna Larsen, who would have had a romantic relationship with Juan Carlos. Larsen told investigators the money was a donation from the former Spanish monarch. In June of the same year, prosecutors at the Spanish Supreme Court announced an investigation into alleged bribes paid to Juan Carlos for helping Spanish companies secure the contract to build the AVE high-speed rail link. to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Spanish prosecutors are also investigating a London property allegedly offered to Juan Carlos by the Sultan of Oman. The apartment reform work was completed in August 2015 and the property was sold for around 50 million euros. The former King of Spain never occupied it, but investigators are trying to determine if he received any proceeds from the sale.

On May 27, 2019, Juan Carlos gave up all his official activities and retired from public life. On August 3, 2020, he secretly left Spain following the growing series of financial scandals affecting his image. His whereabouts remained unknown until it appeared he was in the United Arab Emirates, living under the protection of Mohammed bin Zayed (colloquially known as MBZ), the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. .

Juan Carlos, who served on the throne for 39 years and is widely credited with helping stop the attempted coup d’état of February 23, 1981 in Spain, abdicated the throne in 2014 due to fueled decline in popularity. part by a corruption scandal involving his son-in-law and by a hunting trip during which his relationship with Corinna Larsen emerged.

english version by Susana Urra.

Esther L. Steinbach

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