As the authorities move on with their years-long case against the Colombian pop diva, Spanish prosecutors have demanded that Shakira serve more than eight years in prison and pay a fine of over $24 million for alleged tax fraud.
Shakira’s problems with the law started in 2018 when Spanish officials accused her of omitting taxes totaling 14.5 million euros, or over $15 million, between 2012 and 2014, a three-year period during which she claimed she had not yet formally moved to Spain. Last year, a judge ruled that the prosecution had accumulated enough evidence to proceed with allegations of tax fraud.
Shakira, 45, was charged with six offenses on Friday after she turned down a settlement offer earlier this week, El Pas reported. According to the Spanish daily, investigators cited her history of exploiting offshore tax havens as well as the considerable amount of taxes she allegedly owed as aggravating circumstances in the case.
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The Grammy-winning artist has been accused of wrongdoing numerous times, notably during her court testimony in 2019. She is known for smash songs including Hips Don’t Lie and Waka Waka.
According to Shakira’s publicists in London, said, the singer has consistently complied with the law and displayed exemplary character as a citizen and a taxpayer. Her Spanish public relations team claimed that after being informed, she promptly paid the debt to the nation’s tax authority. She also put 3 million euros’ worth of interest into the bank. According to El Pas, prosecutors might view these payments as a mitigating condition when determining the potential duration of a prison sentence.
Whether Shakira committed tax fraud depends on her residences from 2012 to 2014. She asserts that up until 2015, when she moved to Barcelona with her partner, soccer player Gerard Piqu of FC Barcelona, she had her tax residency in the Bahamas. (The couple, who have two children together, celebrated their 11th anniversary last month.)
However, Shakira allegedly stayed in Spain for more than 200 days each of those three years, according to Spanish police. According to Spanish law, someone who remains in the nation for 184 days or longer is regarded as a resident for taxation purposes. Based on a reconstruction of Shakira’s schedule, including public sightings by fans and photographers, these conclusions, first published by El Pas in 2020, were made.
Additionally, according to the prosecution, Shakira purchased a residence in Barcelona in 2012 that she later shared with Piqu. (Reuters reported)
Shakira was one of the famous people whose identities were included in two sizable collections of stolen financial records, the the Paradise Papers leak from 2017 and the Pandora Papers from 2021. Her involvement with offshore businesses in tax havens including Malta and the British Virgin Islands was revealed by the investigations.
Requests for response from the Barcelona prosecutor’s office and her public relations team in Spain were not immediately fulfilled.