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Shakira can face trial over allegations of tax evasion in Spain, judge confirms

By | Published on Friday 30 July 2021


A Spanish judge has said that there is “sufficient evidence” for Shakira to face trial in the country for alleged tax evasion, meaning the case against the musician being pursued by Spain’s tax authorities will proceed.

It first emerged that those authorities were investigating Shakira over allegations of tax evasion back in early 2018. The case relates to a dispute over where Shakira was primarily based between 2012 and 2014.

The Colombian pop star, who is married to Barcelona football player Gerard Piqué, became a full resident, and therefore tax payer, of Spain in 2015. However, Spanish authorities believe that she was also a resident of the country between 2012 and 2014 – despite actually registering her residence in the Bahamas – and therefore should have been paying tax on her worldwide earnings in the country during this time too.

Anyone who spends more than six months of a year in Spain is considered liable for tax in the country. It is argued that Shakira spent most of her time in Spain during the years in question, only travelling abroad for brief periods.

The tax authorities formally pressed charges against Shakira in December 2018, however it was confirmed at the time that a judge would have to consider the case to decide whether the musician should actually stand trial. It’s that consideration that is now complete.

Shakira’s legal reps have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying that the singer’s finances have been managed entirely legally and properly. In 2019 the musician herself formally denied the tax evasion charges, with a PR rep adding that she had paid all the monies owed.

If the musician was ultimately found guilty of tax evasion she could face both a fine and even prison time, although the judge could waive the latter if any proposed sentence was less than two years, given it would be her first offence.

Responding to the latest development in the case, Shakira’s rep told Reuters that this was the expected next step in the legal process, and that the musician and her legal team “remain confident and fully cooperative with the judiciary and will not comment further”.