Shakira Faces Trial On Tax Fraud Charges

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Shakira faces the possibility of a prison sentence after choosing to go to trial on tax fraud charges rather than accepting a plea deal from Spanish prosecutors.

According to a statement from her reps on Wednesday, the Colombian pop star “trusts her innocence and chooses to leave the issues in the hands of the law, with the peace of mind and confidence that justice will prove her right.”

Shakira, 45, is accused of not paying 14.5 million euros (nearly $19 million) in taxes on income between 2012 and 2014. When she was charged with four counts of tax fraud in 2018, prosecutors alleged her consultants created a “web of companies” to hide income from Spain.

Shakira’s reps said she has since paid 17.2 million euros ($22 million) in taxes, fines and interest to the Spanish Tax Agency.

Under Spanish law, a person who spends half a year plus one day in the country must pay income tax. Shakira argued that she was primarily living in the Bahamas and only made sporadic visits to Spain to see her then-partner, FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué.

The singer said she became responsible for paying income tax in Spain when she enrolled their son Milan in school there in 2014.

No date has been set for the trial.

Shakira and Piqué confirmed last month that they ended their relationship after about 12 years. In 2016, Piqué was convicted of defrauding the tax agency between 2008 and 2010. He appealed but, in 2019, was ordered to pay 2.1 million euros ($2.7 million) in tax arrears and fines.

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