The ex-king pays 4.4 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities

Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I paid nearly 4.4 million euros ($ 5.33 million) to the country’s tax authorities, his latest attempt to regularize past unreported income

MADRID – A law firm representing Juan Carlos I claims that the former Spanish monarch paid nearly 4.4 million euros ($ 5.33 million) to the country’s tax authorities in his latest attempt to regularize past unreported income.

The revelation sparked yet another rebuke against the 83-year-old former king from the country’s prime minister. Pedro Sánchez said on Friday that he rejected the “uncivil behavior” of Juan Carlos, but fully supported the current monarch, King Felipe VI.

The former monarch, who has been living abroad for more than six months after media revealed new allegations of financial mischief, already filed for another tax debt settlement in December for secret donations he received from him. were made between 2016 and 2018. This resulted in payment. over 678,000 euros including interest and fine.

Juan Carlos’ lawyer Javier Sánchez-Junco said in a statement on Friday that the latest tax debt concerns payments that a private foundation, Zagatka, made on behalf of the former king for “several travel expenses and other services”.

The Liechtenstein-based foundation is owned by Álvaro de Orleans, a businessman and distant cousin of Juan Carlos who has publicly admitted to funding some of the former monarch’s private expenses. Payments in kind are subject to taxes under Spanish law.

Spain’s leading newspaper El País and online news site El Español, which first reported the new tax regulations, said the foundation had paid for flights with a private jet company for more than a decade until ‘in 2018.

The attorney’s statement stated that the payment of overdue taxes as well as interest and “surcharges” was voluntary and that the tax authorities had not requested it. The former monarch’s tax obligations “have been regularized,” he said. Under Spanish law, confessing unreported income and paying unpaid taxes allows violators to avoid being charged with tax evasion.

The former king is the target of official investigations in Spain and Switzerland for possible financial embezzlement. One of them concerns possible bribes in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.

These investigations prompted him to leave Spain in August for the United Arab Emirates. He was pictured there at a luxury hotel where Spanish media say he lives as a guest of Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed.

The Royal Palace declined to comment on the new developments. King Felipe VI, who ascended to the throne of Spain after the abdication of Juan Carlos in 2014, has distanced himself from his father.

Felipe and Tax Minister María Jesús Montero avoided comment on the latest development when they both attended a previously scheduled business awards ceremony on Friday.

Speaking to reporters at the government palace, Prime Minister Sánchez said on Friday that Felipe’s reign was “a turning point in favor of exemplarity, transparency and the proper use of public resources”.

“The current king,” said the prime minister, “has my full support”.

But the Juan Carlos scandals have emboldened those who want the abolition of the monarchy and deepened the division within the government led by the socialists of Sánchez. His junior coalition partner, the far-left United We Can, called for legal changes to improve state oversight of the crown and on Friday demanded full disclosure of the tax agency‘s relationship with the ‘old king.

Sánchez admitted that the revelations cast a shadow over Juan Carlos himself, but did not question the monarchy as an institution.

“I will reject, like most Spanish citizens, this uncivil behavior,” Sánchez said.

Esther L. Steinbach

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