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Bayern President tax case, players betting regs, BSKYB win IP case and more

Bayer Munich Fans
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 By Adam Lovatt, Thomas Gibby


Uli Hoeness – evasion or avoidance?

A hot political topic in Western countries since 2008 has been tax evasion; or more critically, the distinction between ‘avoidance’ and ‘evasion’.

This case has triggered great public interest and a heated debate in Germany on the issues of lenient treatment for public figures and whether confessions and subsequent settlement of unpaid taxes entitles tax evaders to immunity from jail.

In Germany, Bayern Munich F.C.'s President Uli Hoeness appeared before a Munich judge on Monday accused of tax evasion. According to the prosecution, the President has failed to:

  1. declare his earnings in two Swiss bank accounts (a total of €33.5m (US$46.5m) worth of German income) used to fund dealings on global stock and currency markets;
  2. meet a tax liability of €3.5m on those earnings between 2003 and 2009; and
  3. accurately declare his losses up to €5.5m.

Hoeness has now admitted a tax liability closer to €18.5m. The Bayern President, elected to come forward when the German media discovered his account and threatened to take the story public; flouting the President's intention to admit guilt privately and quickly repay the tax due (plus a percentage interest and a fine). He consequently filed an amended tax return in January 2013 that publicly disclosed his financial affairs voluntarily.

Nonetheless, prosecutors argue that this was incomplete. If this proven and Hoeness found guilty he could face up to 14 years in jail. This trial comes at a time when, according to the Guardian, "German authorities have been aggressive with tax-evaders in recent years".

The club and its fans have backed their President, who offered to suspend his club duties pending a verdict.

Update 13 March 2013: Hoeness has been sentenced to jail for 3 and a half years for tax evasion -

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Written by

Adam Lovatt

Adam Lovatt

Adam is a lawyer specialising in sports law with IMG. Adam has a wide range of commercial and litigation experience from his four years as a qualified solicitor. Adam has a passion for sports law and is currently undertaking a IP Law Masters programme with the University of London. He is passionate about most sports particularly football, golf and tennis.

Thomas Gibby

Thomas Gibby

Thomas is a Solicitor in Kerman & Co’s sports team. Thomas is predominantly a commercial contracts lawyer who advises the team’s biggest sporting clients and major event organisers on a range of their commercial issues, including working in-house at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. His experience includes advising on data and consumer protection, IT/software development and procurement contracts.

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