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MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa on Spain’s top tax debtor list

Spanish collection agency has released first public tally of taxpayers owing over €1million

Cristóbal Montoro, ministro de Hacienda
Dani Pedrosa, Lorenzo Sanz and Gabi Milito, all of whom appear on the tax debtors list. EFE

The Spanish Tax Agency on Wednesday released its first public list of debtors, which comprises 4,855 organizations and individuals owing a collective €15.6 billion to the state.

The document shows that builders and realtors make up the lion’s share of Spain’s tax debtor list, which also includes sports clubs and many bankrupt companies.

There are also 345 individuals, who together have failed to pay more than €700 million in taxes.

Another familiar name is that of former Real Madrid head Lorenzo Sanz, who owes €1.3 million in back taxes

In the world of sports, the list of debtors who owe over €1 million to the Spanish Tax Agency includes MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa, soccer player Gabriel Milito and bankrupt soccer clubs like Racing de Santander, Recreativo de Huelva, Jérez, Murcia, Albacete or Alicante.

There are also basketball teams such as Estudiantes, Joventut de Badalona and Girona.

The tax agency sent out warning letters in October to taxpayers who owed over  €1 million on July 31, 2015, informing them that their name would soon appear in the first “black list” to be released by the government.

The document shows that real estate agencies top the chart. Sitting in number one position is Reyal Urbis, which owes €378 million all by itself. Once one of Spain’s biggest realtors, it began talks with creditors in 2003 after the property bubble burst.

The number two spot goes to construction company Nozar, with a debt of €203.2 million. Lying third is Grupo PraSA (€101 million), a Córdoba-based property development firm.

Martinsa-Fadesa, infamous for becoming Spain’s largest bankruptcy case in 2008, still owes the state €37.7 million.

Besides the builders and sellers, there are many other companies on the list that provide ancillary services to the real estate sector.

Out of the grand total in owed taxes, over €6.5 billion (42 percent) represents debt held by taxpayers in bankruptcy proceedings, meaning that the likelihood of collecting this money is lower for as long as the proceedings remain open.

Other famous names on the list include Judge Pascual Estevill, who was removed from the bench after being involved in corruption cases. And there is also former Banesto chairman Mario Conde, who served prison time for his management of a bank that had to be nationalized in 1993.

Another familiar name is that of former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz, who owes €1.3 million in back taxes. So is César Vidal, a right-wing historian and writer who owes nearly €2.5 million.

But there is also one airport on the list (Ciudad Real), a health center (Hospital General de Cataluña), an airline (Spanair), a multinational fishing company (Pescanova) and a fashion firm (Vitorio & Lucchino).

English version by Susana Urra.