Accused of having evaded 14.5 million euros from the Spanish tax authorities between 2012 and 2014, the Colombian star Shakira will be tried for tax evasion, Spanish judicial authorities announced on Tuesday.
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The date of this trial which will be held before the provincial court of Barcelona (north-eastern Spain) has yet to be fixed.
Claiming her innocence, Shakira, 45, had let it be known at the end of July that she refused to seal an agreement with the prosecution, saying she preferred the holding of a trial to this guilty plea procedure.
The prosecution had indicated a few days later that it would seek a sentence of more than eight years in prison and a fine of nearly 24 million euros against the interpreter of the hits “Hips don’t lie”, “Waka Waka” or “Loca”.
According to the prosecution, Shakira had been living in Spain since 2011, when her relationship with FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique was made public, but had maintained her tax residence in the Bahamas Islands, considered a tax haven, until 2015.
The couple, who have two children, announced their separation in June.
Shakira’s defense claims that until 2014, her income came mainly from her international tours or her participation in the show The Voice in the United States and that she did not live more than six months a year in Spain, a condition required to establish her tax residence in the country.
The star further claimed that she had already paid 17.2 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities and therefore no longer had any debt towards him.
“These accusations are false,” Shakira hammered last week in an interview with the magazine SHEensuring that at that time she was on tour most of the year and therefore could not be considered a tax resident in Spain.
“The tax authorities saw that I was in a relationship with a Spanish citizen and started salivating. It is clear that they wanted this money without worrying about how they were going to do it,” she added.
“I owe nothing” to the taxman “and I’m sure I have enough evidence to support my case and ensure that justice rules in my favor,” said the singer, for whom going to trial “is a matter of principle”.
Shakira’s name is also among those cited in the Pandora Papers, a vast investigation published at the end of 2021 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, accusing several hundred personalities of having concealed assets in offshore companies, in particular from tax evasion purposes.