Colombian superstar Shakira finds herself in the legal spotlight once again as the Spanish government accuses her of tax evasion for the second time. Prosecutors in Spain allege that the renowned singer defrauded the state of a staggering €6.7 million ($7.1 million, £5.8 million) in 2018. This marks a continuation of the tax troubles that have been haunting her for years.
The latest investigation, launched in July 2023, revolves around allegations that Shakira failed to declare millions in advance payments related to her El Dorado World Tour, along with other sources of income. According to Spanish network RTVE, Shakira is well aware of these new charges, but her legal team in Miami, where she currently resides, has not yet been officially informed about them. Instead, they have been concentrating their efforts on preparing for the trial concerning the 2012-2014 fiscal years, set to commence on November 20th.
The heart of the matter lies in Shakira’s residence in Barcelona in 2018, where she lived with her partner, football star Gerard Pique. Spanish authorities argue that due to her Barcelona residence, Shakira was obligated to pay taxes on her international earnings in Spain. However, they contend that she diverted her money to “companies domiciled in countries with low taxation and high opacity.”
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Shakira is already slated to stand trial in Barcelona on November 20th, facing six separate alleged tax crimes related to the years 2012-2014. Despite the mounting accusations, the Grammy-winning artist vehemently denies any wrongdoing, expressing confidence in her defense. “I am confident that I have enough proof to support my case, and that justice will prevail in my favor,” she asserted in a September interview with the Spanish edition of Elle magazine.
In a separate statement, Barcelona prosecutors reveal that Shakira allegedly employed an offshore company based in a tax haven to evade her tax responsibilities. This revelation has further compounded her legal troubles in Spain.
The ongoing legal saga has raised questions about Shakira’s financial advisors and the advice she received. Her public relations firm, Llorente y Cuenca, previously maintained that she had “always acted in concordance with the law and on the advice of her financial advisers.” However, these reassurances have done little to quell the mounting legal challenges.
Shakira’s ties to Spain deepened during her 11-year relationship with Gerard Pique, which ended last year. The couple, who share two children, lived together in Barcelona, further fueling the Spanish tax authorities’ determination to hold her accountable.
It’s worth noting that Shakira is not the only high-profile figure to face scrutiny from Spanish tax officials. Over the past decade, Spain has cracked down on prominent individuals, including soccer icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for alleged tax evasion. While these players were found guilty, they managed to avoid prison sentences due to a provision allowing judges to waive sentences under two years for first-time offenders.
As Shakira prepares for her day in court, the world watches closely to see how this chapter in her ongoing legal battle will unfold. The singer’s legacy as a global music sensation now shares the stage with her enduring struggle against these persistent tax evasion accusations.