Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has not escaped the eye of the Spanish tax authorities as part of the ongoing clamp down on footballers in recent years after reportedly being fined €337,000 for alleged defrauding the treasury over image rights earned in 2013.
A swathe of La Liga stars past and present have been prosecuted by the Spanish tax authorities, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both reluctantly accepting two-year suspended prison sentences for their alleged fraud over image rights payments.
Marcelo, ex-Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez and even Jose Mourinho are among the other high profile names to have had issues with tax, with Bale described by Spanish newspaper El Mundo as the last remaining 'big star' at Real Madrid to be the focus of the 'big fiscal raid'.
Bale's issue is said to concern image rights earned in 2013, the year that he moved from Tottenham to Real in a world record transfer.
The Spanish treasury apparently believes the player should have paid tax in Spain on his commercial income that year. Instead those earnings apparently went through his company based in London, Primesure Ltd, which the Welsh star set up in 2007.
El Mundo explains that the €337,000 fine is made up of the €200,000 the authorities believe should have been paid in tax, as well as a €100,000 penalty and a further €37,000 in interest.
The newspaper also states from a source 'close to the inspection' that Bale has already appealed. 2013 is believed to be the only year in Bale's tax file that has been inspected.
The other key detail shared by El Mundo is that the Spanish Treasury is not pursuing Bale over any fiscal offences, meaning that no formal charges are likely to be brought against him as was the case with many of his contemporaries.
Based on the information in El Mundo's report, his case appears to be more of a misunderstanding than any deliberate attempt at tax evasion.