Shakira will stand trial in Spain for tax evasion

Colombian star Shakira, accused of evading 14.5 million euros from Spanish tax authorities between 2012 and 2014, will be investigated for tax evasion, Spanish judicial authorities announced on Tuesday.

• Read more: Shakira is confident that ‘justice will prevail’ in her tax evasion case

• Read more: Spain: Eight years in prison against Shakira

• Read more: Singer Shakira and footballer Gerard Pique split

The date of the trial, which will take place in the Provincial Court of Barcelona (north-east Spain), has not yet been set.

Shakira, 45, said in late July that she had refused to sign a plea deal with prosecutors, claiming her innocence.

A few days later, the prosecution indicated that the singer should be sentenced to more than eight years in prison and fined almost 24 million euros.

According to the lawsuit, Shakira had lived in Spain since 2011, when her relationship with FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique was made public, but maintained her tax home in the Bahamas, a tax haven, until 2015.

The couple, who have two children, announced their separation in June.

Shakira’s defense says that until 2014, her income came mainly from her international tours or her participation in the show “The Voice” in the United States, and she did not live more than six months a year. Tax residence in the country.

The star added that he had already paid 17.2 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities, so he owed nothing.

“These accusations are false,” Shakira said in an interview published by ELLE magazine last week, insisting that she was on tour most of the time between 2012 and 2014 and therefore could not be considered a tax resident in Spain.

“The tax officials started salivating when they saw that I was in a relationship with a Spanish citizen. It is clear that they wanted this money without worrying about how they were going to do it,” he added.

“I don’t owe anything to the taxpayer,” the singer said, adding, “I’m sure I have enough evidence to support my case and make sure that justice is served in my favor.”

In May, a Barcelona court rejected the singer’s appeal, ruling that “the documents provided to prove tax residence in another country were insufficient.”

Shakira was among those cited in the Pandora documents released by the International Federation of Investigative Journalists in late 2021, accusing several hundred individuals of hiding assets in offshore companies, particularly for tax evasion purposes.

Mixing Latin sounds, African rhythms and rock influences, with titles like “hips don’t lie”, “always, everywhere” or again “Waka Waka”, the Colombian Latin American singer has become one of the most listened to in the world. , the official anthem of the 2010 World Cup. He won three Grammy Awards.

In her interview with ELLE, the pop star admitted that she is currently going through “the hardest and darkest hours of (her) life” due to her legal troubles, her separation and her father’s health concerns.

Apart from Shakira, many celebrities, especially footballers, have been in trouble with the Spanish tax authorities in recent years.

For example, Cristiano Ronaldo was sentenced to two years in prison in early 2019, which he did not have to serve because his criminal record was clean. Between fines and restitution for tax evasion, the case cost the former Real Madrid star 18.8 million euros.

Former Barca star Lionel Messi was fined €2 million in 2016 and sentenced to 21 months in prison, with €252,000 commuted to a further fine.

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