Shakira, the acclaimed pop sensation known for her hit songs like Hips Don’t Lie, and Waka Waka, has encountered legal troubles related to tax evasion. The Spanish Government has pursued charges against her. However, on the first day of her trial in Barcelona, Shakira managed to strike a last-minute deal with Spanish prosecutors.
Despite expressing confidence in her innocence, the pop star has agreed to pay a substantial fine of €7.3 million ($8 million). This unexpected resolution added an intriguing twist to the story of Shakira’s legal challenges.
Shakria’s tax fraud scandal: Here’s everything you need to know
As per Spanish law, individuals who stay in Spain for more than six months in a year are classified as residents for tax purposes. According to the Spanish government, the Colombian singer allegedly neglected to pay €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes for the period between 2012 and 2014.
The controversy surrounding Shakira revolves around her time spent in Spain during those years, despite officially declaring her address in the Bahamas. The tax rates are significantly lower in the Bahamas than those in Spain.
The Spanish prosecution planned to present 117 witnesses, including beauticians, healthcare professionals, and Shakira’s driver, to testify about her residency. If she were to be found guilty, the singer could potentially face a sentence of eight years and two months in prison, along with a fine of €23.8 million ($26 million).
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What does Shakira say about the controversy?
In July 2023, prosecutors presented documents asserting that Shakira had acquired a residence in Barcelona in 2012, intended as a family home with her former partner Gerard Piqué. In response to these claims, Shakira’s team contended that a significant portion of her income until 2014 originated from international tours, during which she spent extended periods abroad.
In her statement, Shakira expressed, “I have consistently aimed to uphold ethical standards and serve as a positive role model throughout my career. Regrettably, despite my endeavors, Spanish tax authorities initiated a case against me, as they have done with numerous athletes and prominent figures, consuming their energy, time, and peace for prolonged periods.”
“I remained resolute in asserting my innocence throughout the trial, which my legal team believed would result in a favorable outcome. I have chosen to bring this matter to a resolution, prioritizing the well-being of my children, who wish to spare their mother from sacrificing her personal welfare in this legal battle,” the statement concluded.
The statement emphasized Shakira’s commitment to ethical conduct throughout her career and her aim to set a positive example. Additionally, she mentioned seeking tax guidance from consulting firms PWC and EY.
The Spanish government has recently intensified its efforts to combat tax evasion. Several prominent figures, such as soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, have been targeted by Spanish authorities for similar allegations. Spain has introduced fresh initiatives to identify individuals who fail to report income, taxes, and assets in accordance with legal requirements. These measures involve implementing tax reform laws and enhanced monitoring of offshore wealth.
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