TaxPersonal TaxPavarotti tackles his most taxing role

Pavarotti tackles his most taxing role

He may be more familiar with the Metropolitan Opera in New York or London's Covent Garden, but yesterday Luciano Pavarotti performed for a new audience - an Italian Court where he was accused of swindling the country's taxman out of £13m.

Prosecutors allege the millionaire singer filed false tax returns in Italy between 1989 and 1995. Pavarotti, who pleaded not guilty, said his home is now the tax haven of Monte Carlo and not Modena in Italy.

The trial of the world’s highest-earning opera star is part of international crackdown on artists, sports stars and businessmen who claim residence in tax havens.

But Pavarotti, who could face three years in prison if he loses the case, claims most of his business activities don’t take place in Italy either.

‘I am an Italian citizen who works abroad. I have always believed that a tax evader was someone who earned in Italy and took his earnings abroad.

‘I earn abroad and bring the money in Italy. I live most of my life in New York,’ the Italian tenor said.

But prosecutors are likely to claim that the centre of Pavarotti’s business interests is based in Northern Italy.

Last year Pavarotti agreed to pay the Italian authorities £8m in taxes.

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Pavarotti’s next performance in court

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