Spanish prosecutors on Friday (July 29) demanded a prison term of more than eight years and a fine of more than €23 million for Colombian superstar Shakira, whom they accused of committing six cases of tax fraud.
The wildly popular “Queen of Latin Music” who has won three Grammy awards and sold more than 60 million records worldwide, is known for billboard hits such as “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Beautiful Liar” and the 2010 FIFA World Cup song, “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)”.
What is the tax case against Shakira?
The Spanish authorities have accused the singer of defrauding the country’s tax authorities out of €14.5 million by avoiding paying income tax and inheritance tax, the Spanish daily El País reported.
Shakira is accused of failing to pay taxes between 2012 and 2014, a period during which prosecutors allege she was in a relationship with Spain and FC Barcelona centre-back Gerard Piqué, living in a house she bought in Barcelona while she officially maintained a tax. stay in the Bahamas. (Shakira and Piqué announced their split earlier this year.)
The Spanish authorities began investigating her finances in 2018. The prosecution has based its case on reports from the Spanish tax authorities, detailing her visits to hairdressers, beauty salons, the medical clinic she attended during her pregnancy and a recording studio she rented in Barcelona, to prove that she had more than 183 days in Spain, the legal requirement that makes her a Spanish taxpayer, El País reported.
A Spanish judge ruled in July 2021 that there was enough evidence to suggest she had committed tax fraud. On Wednesday (July 27), Shakira rejected a settlement agreement offered by Spanish prosecutors, opting instead for a trial, which is likely to begin in the coming weeks.
Shakira’s defense team has argued that she didn’t stay in Spain long enough between 2012 and 2014 to attract the provisions of Spanish tax laws — and that she didn’t officially reside in Spain until 2015. Wednesday argued that she was “urging on claiming money earned on my international tours and the show ‘The Voice’,” for which she was a judge in the United States, AFP reported.
Shakira insists she has already paid $17.2 million in taxes and has no further debts, Reuters reported. She has said she is fully convinced of her innocence and that she is willing to “settle any disagreements” if the charges are found to be legitimate.
Shakira was one of the celebrities whose name appeared in the global media studies Paradise Papers and Pandora Papers published in November 2017 and October 2021 respectively. The Indian Express collaborated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in both investigations.
The Paradise Papers, which followed the extensive Panama Papers investigation, were a cache of 13.4 million corporate records, mostly from the Bermuda-based company Appleby, as well as from the Singapore-based Asiaciti Trust and corporate records maintained by governments in 19 secret jurisdictions that are often referred to as “tax havens”. The Paradise leaks, like the Panama leaks, were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the ICIJ.
The Pandora Papers were 11.9 million leaked files from 14 global business services firms that set up approximately 29,000 turnkey companies and private trusts in not only obscure tax jurisdictions, but also countries such as Singapore, New Zealand and the United States, for customers all over the world