When you’re an internationally famous and talented professional racer, you tend to travel a lot. You’re also more likely to change residences, and maybe even countries while you do it. In every case, you’ll probably get a really good accounting firm to help manage your money.
Take three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, for example. From 2013 through 2015, he and his legal team maintain that he lived in Switzerland and not anywhere in his home country, Spain. Spanish tax authorities didn’t agree, so they brought a legal challenge. They insisted that Lorenzo owed 35 million Euros in unpaid taxes and fines, and accused him of tax evasion.
At the time, Lorenzo was still riding professionally for Yamaha, with an official residence listed in Switzerland. To claim Swiss residence, individuals must reside in the country for at least 90 days each calendar year. If they meet that number, they can pay their income tax in Switzerland.
Meanwhile, according to Moto.IT, Spanish law states that individuals residing outside the country are not allowed to live in Spain for over six months out of the year. Lorenzo certainly isn’t the only professional racer who has run into similar trouble with Spanish tax authorities in the past. Dani Pedrosa and both Espargaro brothers have also run into similar obstacles in recent time.
Lorenzo can rest easy for the moment, because Spain’s Central Economic Administrative Court found the Spanish Treasury’s demands to be inconsistent with the facts. Upon reviewing the evidence, the Court declared that Lorenzo did, in fact, reside in Switzerland during the time period in question. Therefore, he was acquitted of the charges, and will not be required to pay that hefty 35 million Euro fee to the Spanish Treasury. You can find the full report in Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, but it’s behind a paywall.