Shakira faces more than 8 years in prison if found guilty of tax evasion in Spain

Comment

Spanish prosecutors have sought more than eight years in prison and a fine of around $24 million for Shakira for alleged tax evasion, as authorities pursue their years-long case against the Colombian pop star.

Shakira’s legal troubles began in 2018 when Spanish authorities accused her of evading taxes amounting to 14.5 million euros, or nearly $15 million, between 2012 and 2014 – a three-year period during which she claimed she had not yet officially moved to Spain. A judge concluded last year that prosecutors had gathered enough evidence to pursue the tax evasion charges in court.

Prosecutors on Friday unveiled six counts against Shakira, 45, after rejecting a settlement agreement earlier this week, El País reported. According to the Spanish newspaper, authorities pointed to the substantial amount of taxes she should have owed, as well as her history of using offshore tax havens, as aggravating factors in the case.

The Grammy-winning singer, famous for his hit songs such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka”, has refuse wrongdoing on several occasions, including during his testimony in court in 2019.

The Pandora Papers: billions hidden out of reach

Shakira’s publicists in London said the singer “has always cooperated and followed the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer,” reported the Associated Press. Its public relations team in Spain said it immediately repaid the amount it owed to the country‘s tax agency once it was notified. She also deposited an additional 3 million euros in interest. These payments, El País reported, can be considered a mitigating circumstance by prosecutors regarding the length of a possible prison sentence.

The tax evasion charges depend on where Shakira lived from 2012 to 2014. She claims her tax residence was in the Bahamas until 2015 when she moved to Barcelona with her partner, the FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique. (The couple, who have two children together, last month announced the end of their 11-year relationship.)

But according to Spanish investigators, Shakira spent more than 200 days in the country in each of those three years. The Spanish government stipulates that a person who stays in the country for 184 days or more is considered a tax resident. These findings, first published by El País in 2020, were based on a reconstruction of Shakira’s calendar, such as public observations by fans and photographers.

Prosecutors also allege Shakira bought property in Barcelona in 2012, which later became the family home she shared with Pique, Reuters reported.

Shakira was among the celebrities whose names appeared in two large troves of leaked financial documents, the papers of paradise in 2017 and the Pandora Papers in 2021. Investigations have linked her to offshore companies in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Malta.

His public relations team in Spain and the Barcelona prosecution did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Comments are closed.