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Rossi settles dispute with tax men

  • Story Highlights
  • MotoGP star Valentino Rossi reaches agreement with Italian tax authorities
  • Seven-time world champion Rossi pays $27.6 million in unpaid tax for 2001-04
  • A relieved Rossi said that he is now moving from London to live back in Italy
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ROME, Italy -- Seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi has reached an agreement with the Italian tax authorities and will hand over 19 million euros ($27.6 million) in unpaid tax for the years 2001-2004, Ansa reported.

The figure could rise to as much as 35 million euros when Rossi's earnings for 2005-06 are taken into consideration.

In August the Italian tax office said it was investigating Rossi over allegations of tax evasion, linked to his decision to live in London in 2000.

Rossi told a press conference on Tuesday that he was relieved at the outcome of the proceedings.

"I'm very happy with the way this difficult affair has turned out because I think I will be calmer now and that will help me to concentrate on my work," he said.

"For several reasons I've already decided to return to live in Italy. London is a very interesting city but spending more time with my family and friends has become a necessity for me given that due to my commitments on the (Moto GP) tour I spend more than half the year away from home.

"I could not return if I had problems with the Italian tax authorities. I could not allow this to drag on either.

"I've come to an agreement with the Tax Agency which will allow me to return calm and ready ahead of the new season."

Tax Office general director Massimo Romano was also pleased with the outcome.

"Rossi behaved in the right way during this affair. Obviously we wish him more success, also from a fiscal point of view, because his success will bring more money into Italy, which is badly needed."

After dominating his sport for seven years, including five times in Moto GP, Rossi failed to win either of the last two titles. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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