With a yen to see his paisans more often, Valentino Rossi will pack up his bags of money and head back to Italy — where he’ll bestow an early Christmas on the taxman.
The MotoGP champion will pay 20 million euros to Italy’s tax department to settle a dispute that arose over his failure to pay Italian taxes while living in London, England, for several years.
The news agency AKI is reporting that if his 2005 – 2006 earnings are figured into the deal, his tax bill could go higher by another 15 million euros.
However, since Rossi earns more than 37 million euros a year, he shouldn’t find it too hard to come up with the cash.
He told the news agency that reaching an agreement with the taxman will "allow me to begin the world championship calm and prepared." Ah, so that’s what happened in 2007 — he had money problems …
He said he enjoyed living in London but wanted to spend more time with his family and friends in Italy. The head of the Italian tax agency said Rossi’s example should be followed by other Italians who have moved out to avoid being bled dry by the country’s tax collectors.