Karim Benzema praised for paying tax on his image rights in France

The striker has been dubbed a "fiscal patriot" as a result

benzema, france, valbuena, euro 2016, sex tape

Picture by: Lionel Cironneau / AP/Press Association Images

French forward Karim Benzema has found his name in the headlines for unwanted reasons on a number of occasions in the last year or so, but this time around he's getting coverage for a different reason.

Like many of his Madrid team-mates, the striker has opted to pay the taxes on his image rights outside of Spain, where he earns his living, but he has opted instead to pay them in France.

Mediapart has dubbed him a "fiscal patriot" as a result, earning praise for his willingness to pay what other high earners in the country do, rather than attempting to go around the higher rates through another route. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has been the subject of recent claims that he was trying to avail of Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax rate off the back of documents obtained by El Confidencial that show that he was Multisports & Image Management (MIM), a company based in Dublin, to manage his image rights.

The move even drew criticism from German MEP Sven Giegold, who said "it comes as no surprise that the company is located in Ireland, given the country's low corporate tax rate." 

Similarly, documents obtained by Football Leaks claim that Luka Modric uses a company in Luxembourg to manage his image rights, which would again be subject to a lower tax than the 43.5% rate applicable in Spain. 

L'Équipe claim that Benzema's decision to base his image rights company 'Best of Benzema' (BOB) in Lyon, was not the "best" from a fiscal point of view. Given he arrived in Spain before 2010, he would have been able to avail of the so-called "Beckham clause", which would have meant he was taxed at a significantly lower rate, perhaps as low as 5%. 

However, records obtained by Mediapart show that in 2011, BOB paid €206,207 in tax on around €1 million in earnings, and €378,484 the follwing year on income of €1.64 million.

Benzema missed out on a place in France's Euro 2016 squad after a blackmail scandal involving international team-mate Mathie Valbuena.

His Real Madrid career also looked to be in jeopardy as a result of his role in the case at one point, but he has worked hard to return to form, scoring in the recent Clásico and again in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, leading some to speculate he may be close to getting his spot back in the national side.

Via L'Équipe