Manchester United star Wayne Rooney will reportedly face a £3.5 million charge over his alleged involvement in a tax avoidance scheme.

 

The Manchester United captain has not made the best start to the season on the pitch. Manager Jose Mourinho has tried the 30-year-old in a number of positions, but to no avail. Of late, the Portuguese has opted to drop Rooney from his starting lineup and it has had a positive impact on the team.

Off the field too, the second-highest goalscorer in United’s history has been making the news for the wrong reasons. According to The Times, Rooney is facing a £3.5 million charge after tax authorities challenged a suspected avoidance scheme in which he was the largest investor. HM Revenue & Customs have told the United captain that they believe he is liable for the multi-million pound sum.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United (L) argues with referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Watford and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on September 18, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United (L) argues with referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Watford and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on September 18, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

In fact, this is the fifth time in four years that Rooney has been alleged to be involved in a tax scam. According to Tom Witherow and James Burton of the Daily Mail, Rooney repaid £500,000 to the Revenue over an unnamed scheme last year. It is also reported that the 30-year-old used Invicta 43 to generate tax relief to shelter £12.5 million, enough to legally avoid tax on three years of salary.

Rooney reportedly pooled in £2.5 million and then borrowed a staggering £10 million from Bank of Scotland, leaving him liable for a potential upfront payment of £3.75 million. He is also understood to be one of the few investors who has not yet received a formal tax demand.

Speaking about the allegation to the Times, an anonymous investor said: “People are very worried. Some will be financially embarrassed. They will not be in a position to shelter the problem. It’s not just a case of losing the relief you claimed. It’s having to pay tax on the income later.”

However, the player’s spokesperson refused to make any comments about the issue and stated: “Wayne’s tax affairs have always been conducted in full compliance with the law.”

Rooney is set to captain the Three Lions as they take on Malta later today in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.

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