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Brazil court halves tax fine for Barcelona's Neymar after appeal

Neymar's 188.8 million Brazilian reals (€56.7m and $60.8m) fine for tax fraud was halved on Wednesday when a Brazilian tax appeals court ruled in his favour.

The Barcelona forward had been hit with the punishment last year for failing to report earnings from his contracts with Brazilian club Santos, Barcelona, Nike and other sponsors between 2011 and 2014.

But after appealing the fine -- which included back-taxes and interest -- a judge found in Neymar's favour and decided to reduce it.

Neymar will also be permitted to cede his image rights to family businesses after the judge also dismissed charges by federal auditors that they were front companies set up to dodge taxes.

According to the original court documents, the Brazil international had used his businesses (Neymar Sport e Marketing, N & N Consultoria, N & N Administracao de Bens) to avoid paying taxes.

It was alleged that false congrats were drawn up and Neymar had assets to the value of 189 million Brazilian reals ($48m, €42m) frozen in 2015.

However, after Neymar presented an appeal, auditors have been unable to prove that he should have paid individual income tax of 27.5 percent on the earnings rather than the lower corporate rate which was used.

Other charges of evading Brazilian taxes on his 2013 transfer to Barcelona remain open.

Of the other two cases relating to that controversial move four years ago, Barcelona confirmed at the end of 2016 that proceedings brought against the club for the misappropriation of funds when signing Neymar have now been closed.

The second case, though, remains open and Neymar will stand trial on corruption charges related to his transfer to Barcelona four years ago after losing a recent appeal.

Barcelona, Santos and the company run by Neymar's parents also lost their appeals and will stand trial after a complaint brought by Brazilian investment group DIS.

The group says it was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer fee Barcelona paid Santos for Neymar but received a smaller compensation because part of the fee was concealed by those involved.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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