World Bulletin / News Desk
The Beşiktaş Football Club, one of Turkey's leading football clubs, evaded taxes totaling TL 9.4 million over a two-year period from 2005 to 2007 by declaring less income than it actually earned, a report by the Finance Ministry's account experts board suggests.
The content of the inspection report, released by the account experts board on Dec. 27, 2010, was released to the public by the Radikal daily on Wednesday.
According to the content of the report, Beşiktaş misrepresented the true state of its affairs to the tax authorities to reduce its tax liability. The football club did not declare TL 52 million of its income, which equates to a total of TL 9.4 million in taxes, between 2005 and 2007, when its total income was in fact TL 110 million. The experts stated in their report that the inspections showed that tax evasion was clearly committed by the club using accounting tricks. The report also revealed that the club had failed to declare some part of its income gained from online ticket seller Biletix, income from broadcasting rights, payments from the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and revenue from advertising.
The board sent its report to the İstanbul Public Prosecutor's Office, which launched a probe into the allegations of tax evasion directed at the Beşiktaş Football Club on March 18, 2012. The first hearing of the tax evasion trial is scheduled to take place on May 24 at İstanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse. The prosecutor's office is seeking up to three years in prison for the administrators of the football club during the period in question, when Yıldırım Demirören, who was elected president of the TFF in early 2012, was president of Beşiktaş.
If Demirören is found guilty in the tax evasion trial, he will face the risk of losing his position as TFF president.
The report also included Beşiktaş's official statement in response to the accusations in the experts' inspection report. Beşiktaş rejected the tax evasion charges and attributed the tax noncompliance, revealed by the board, to accounting mistakes. Beşiktaş defended itself by stating that the club had not intentionally avoided paying taxes.
Addressing Beşiktaş's statement, one of the accounting experts taking part in the inspection board from the Finance Ministry reportedly stated that it was clear that the misrepresentation of the accounts had not resulted from unintended accounting mistakes. The expert further stated that to date the club's accounts for the period 2005-2007 had been checked 41 times. Therefore it was not possible for the accounting mistakes not to have been detected after having been checked 41 times. The expert also stated that no company official can claim that they were unaware of the extent of the noncompliance and misrepresentation of the company's accounts. The expert concluded that numbering and accounting mistakes were deliberately made by the club with the clear intention of evading taxes.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2012, 17:55