PARIS (Reuters) – The French taxman is delighted about the prospect of Brazilian star Neymar joining Paris St Germain, the minister in charge of France’s public accounts said on yesterday. The striker is expected to join the French club on a wage of around $650,000 a week after a record-breaking $262 million transfer from Spanish giants Barcelona.
Le Figaro newspaper took a stab at estimating the possible tax and social security payments Neymar’s salary could net the state, coming up with a figure of $44.39 million a year.
“The minister of public accounts is delighted by the extra tax income Neymar will pay in France if he joins a French club,” the minister in question, Gerald Darmanin, told France Inter radio station.
“It’s better that this footballer pays his tax here instead of elsewhere.”
Neymar’s expected arrival in France and the huge wage Paris St Germain’s Qatari owners will pay him was music to the ears of a minister whose radio interview was mainly a defence of unpopular government spending cuts due to the country’s yawning budget deficit.
The 25-year-old Neymar has for some time been battling accusations of tax cheating and corruption in Spain, where he was recently cleared of fraud, but still faces a corruption trial in connection with the value of his 2013 transfer to Barcelona from Brazilian club Santos.
Asked whether the special legal structures were likely to lower Neymar’s tax exposure in France, where the top rate of income tax is 45 percent, Darmanin said: “Don’t worry, the country’s interests, and its financial interests in particular, will be well taken care of.”
Darmanin was defending a government decision to shrink local government spending by what he said was about $355 million– roughly equivalent to the Neymar transfer contract price of $262 million plus three years of his salary.