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German Church may take Italian football star to court over unpaid taxes

Luca Toni in action for Hellas Verona in February (PA)

Italian footballer Luca Toni could be taken to court by the Catholic Church in Germany over unpaid church taxes, according to reports.

According to Sport Mediaset, Toni did not pay the Kirchensteuer (church tax) while playing for Bayern Munich from 2007 to 2010 and a trial is now possible as the German Church attempts to claw back around €1.7m.

It has has been reported that Toni, who currently play for Hellas Verona in Serie A, was initially registered by his accountant as an atheist, but later this registration was later changed to Catholic. He is said to owe €500,000 per year over a three year period and a further €200,000 in interest.

A tribunal suggested that the footballer, who was part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad in 2006, pay €500,000, with his accountant paying the same and Bayern Munich paying €700,000. The club, however, reportedly rejected this proposal, and July 15 has been set as the date for a further tribunal negotiation.

BLOG: German church taxes explained, by Jon Anderson