Shakira Settles Tax Fraud Case with €7.5 Million in Spain

Colombian pop sensation Shakira has recently come to an agreement with Spanish prosecutors to settle a tax fraud case that has been looming over her for the past several years. The singer, who was on the brink of facing trial, has opted for a settlement, agreeing to pay a €7.5 million ($8.2 million) fine.

Shakira Settles Tax Fraud Case with €7.5 Million in Spain

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This resolution comes amid prosecutors initially seeking an eight-year jail term and a €23.8 million ($26 million) fine if she was found guilty.

The tax fraud allegations from Shakira’s residency status between 2012 and 2014, during which prosecutors claimed she resided in Spain but officially declared her residence elsewhere.

Under Spanish law, spending more than six months in the country designates one as a tax resident. She contested this, maintaining that Spain was not her primary residence during that period.

Prosecutors argued that she purchased a house in Barcelona in 2012, which became the family home for her and then-partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué.

Shakira countered, asserting that most of her income until 2014 came from international tours, leading her to spend outside of Spain.

The trial, which began on November 20, 2023, lasted eight minutes as She accepted a deal with prosecutors. The settlement includes a suspended three-year sentence and the €7.5 million fine.

This resolution came as a surprise, considering Shakira had previously rejected a deal in 2022, opting for a trial to defend her innocence.

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In her statement following the settlement, She expressed her commitment to doing what’s right throughout her career and addressed the toll the case took on her well-being.

She mentioned her decision to resolve the matter was driven by the best interest of her children, who did not want to witness their mother sacrificing her personal well-being in a legal battle.

Central to the dispute was Shakira’s residency status during 2012-2014. Spanish authorities claimed she spent more than half of this period in Spain, requiring her to pay taxes on her global income in the country.

However, argued that she was leading a “nomadic life” until 2014, with her main source of income being international tours. Her defense contended that she only permanently moved to Barcelona in 2015.

The case involved Shakira’s personal and professional life, including her relationship with Gerard Piqué, her international tours, and her declaration of Spain as her tax residence in 2015.

Shakira’s legal team initially rejected a deal in July 2022, expressing confidence in proving her innocence. However, the singer’s decision to settle on the trial’s first day has shifted the narrative.

This resolution has elicited varied responses, with some praising her for prioritizing her well-being and family, while others express disappointment at the lack of a full trial to determine innocence.

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The case also brings attention to the issue of high-profile individuals, including celebrities and athletes, facing legal battles with tax authorities.

Shakira drew parallels to other cases, that tax authorities in Spain, as in other countries, often target public figures, draining their energy for years.

The settlement allows her to focus on her children and upcoming career opportunities, including an upcoming world tour and a new album. This development comes shortly after her separation from Gerard Piqué, her partner of 11 years.

Shakira’s inclusion in the “Paradise Papers” leaks, which exposed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals, underlines the issue of celebrities navigating complex financial structures to manage their wealth.

The leaks revealed details about Shakira’s financial arrangements related to her residence in the Bahamas. The case also aligns with Spain’s increased scrutiny of tax affairs, particularly targeting figures in sports and entertainment.

Notable cases involving soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have set precedents in cracking down on tax evasion. While both athletes faced guilty verdicts, they managed to avoid prison time with suspended sentences.

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