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Shakira’s tax evasion case is about her heated battle with Spanish authorities over the allegation that she failed to pay nearly $14 million in taxes.
During the period from 2012 to 2014, prosecutors in the European country accused the singer of withholding 14.5 million euros in taxes. Shakira’s official residence was listed in the Bahamas, but she owed Spain taxes because she lived in Catalonia at the time.
In response to the allegations, the Grammy winner said she didn’t spend 183 days a year in Spain at that time. She said the Spanish government is trying to make an example of her. In addition, she said she had paid everything they said she owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So, as of today, she owes them nothing.
It also seemed like Shakira’s case was similar to other celebrities who got into trouble with the Spanish tax system. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, was charged with evading nearly 15 million euros in taxes between 2010 and 2014. He was sentenced to 23 months in prison but avoided jail time after paying a fine of nearly 19 million euros.
When Shakira’s name appeared in the Paradise Papers, a leak about offshore investments in November 2017, the investigation started. A leak revealed the Latin Grammy winner’s “musical assets, intellectual property rights, and trademarks” were held by a company in Malta, which has been accused of being a tax haven. According to the musician’s lawyer, the Maltese company “fills all legal requirements.”
With her then-boyfriend Gerard Piqué, Shakira bought a home in Barcelona in 2012. The Colombian native and the soccer star split up after 12 years together in June 2022.
“We regret to inform you that we have decided to separate,” the couple said in a joint statement at the time. “Our children are our highest priority, so please respect their privacy during this time.”
“It’s been tough not only for me but also for my kids,” Shakira told a magazine in September 2022 when she admitted that the tax fraud allegations and the split from Piqué had caused one of the most difficult times of her life. “It’s been really hard not only for me but also for my kids,” she said at the time. “Incredibly difficult.”
Here are all the details you need to know about Shakira’s tax evasion case, so keep scrolling to learn more.
What Has Shakira Been Accused Of?
During the period from 2012 to 2014, Spanish prosecutors charged the “Whenever, Wherever” singer with failing to pay 14.5 million euros in taxes. Although Shakira claimed that she was residing in the Bahamas during this period, authorities claim that she lived in Barcelona, in a home she purchased with Piqué in May 2012. Meanwhile, the singer claims that she moved to the Spanish city in 2015.
How Did She Respond?
According to her, she’s already paid what she owed plus interest, and she denies any wrongdoing. “Shakira has always cooperated and followed the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the advice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, an internationally acclaimed tax firm,” a spokesperson said in July 2022. Despite the Spanish Tax Office losing one of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the legal process.
Is Shakira’s Tax Evasion Case Going To Trial?
After Shakira rejected a settlement offer from tax authorities, a Spanish judge approved a trial for September 2022. The court, based in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat, has determined that the “Beautiful Liar” artist will face six counts of tax fraud. The trial date has not yet been determined by the court.
If you are involved in a similar situation with your taxes or have some tax debt you wish to resolve, companies like the Tax Defense Network can assist you during the process and help you save money.
What Are The Possible Consequences?
As of July 2022, Spanish prosecutors have announced that they will be seeking a prison sentence of eight years as well as a fine of 23 million euros for Shakira.
What Shakira Has To Say
The Spanish government’s case against Shakira was called a “smear campaign” in court documents obtained by TMZ in November 2022. According to the pop star, she wasn’t a Spanish resident during that time and would only have had to pay taxes if she lived there 183 days a year. Instead, she paid more than $10 million in taxes to the United States, where she was being paid to appear on The Voice. It wasn’t until 2015 that Shakira changed her tax residency to Spain.
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