Artist News Legal

Shakira charged with tax evasion in Spain

By | Published on Monday 17 December 2018


Almost a year after it was announced that Shakira was being investigated for tax evasion in Spain, the singer has been charged. It is alleged that she avoided €14.5 million (£13 million) by falsely claiming not to live in the country.

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. But her lawyer has denied any wrongdoing, saying that the singer’s finances have been managed entirely legally and properly.

The charges follow wider scrutiny of the earnings of footballers by the Spanish government, investigations that have led to several players being prosecuted in recent years. Last year, Piqué’s teammate Lionel Messi received a 21 month suspended prison sentence and a fine. Real Madrid players Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo Vieira also recently received fines and suspended sentences after admitting tax evasion.

A judge is yet to decide whether or not Shakira should now stand trial. She has not commented on the case.