TaxPersonal TaxPavarotti’s next performance in court

Pavarotti's next performance in court

Luciano Pavarotti, the world's highest-earning opera star, is to stand trial in Italy on charges of tax evasion, as part of an international crackdown on artists, sports stars and businessmen who claim residence in the tax haven of Monaco.

Pavarotti has been ordered to appear in court on 2 May and if convicted, the 65-year-old tenor could face a maximum prison sentence of three years, the Sunday Times reported this weekend.

The singer, whose annual income is estimated at Pounds 35m claims to pay his taxes as a genuine resident of Monte Carlo. But Eleonora De Marco, the Modena public prosecutor has argued the singer does not even know where his Pounds 200,000 Monte Carlo flat is.

At a preliminary hearing last week, she produced a recording of an Italian television programme in which the tenor was portrayed as having difficulty in indicating the whereabouts of his property on a photograph.

De Marco claimed the centre of Pavarotti’s interests are based in Modena, where he owns three houses, maintains six bank accounts and conducts business dealings with 11 companies in the Northern Italian city.

In June last year Pavarotti reached an agreement with Ottaviano del Turco, the Italian finance minister to pay almost Pounds 8m in back taxes, as part of alleged arrears of some 40bn lira (Pounds 13m) for a six-year period beginning in 1985.

Since November 1999, the singer has payed in Pounds 163,400 in back-dated taxes. Massimo Leone, Pavarotti’s lawyer said the singer maintained his innocence and would demonstrate it in court.

  • The Inland Revenue has denied reports in the Sunday Mirror newspaper that it is setting up a special celebrity tax investigations unit.Yesterday’s report claimed the government department was responding to the myriad of lucrative deals struck by celebrities with glossy magazines. But the Revenue told AccountancyAge.com that no such unit existed nor was any such a department being assembled.

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Pavarotti feels the big squeeze

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