Judge Orders Shakira To Stand Trial For Tax Fraud
A judge in Spain on Tuesday formally ordered pop star Shakira to stand trial on tax fraud charges.
The 45-year-old singer, who is facing up to eight years behind bars if convicted, turned down a plea deal in July. In a statement at the time, her reps said Shakira “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.”
A date for the trial has not been set.
The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer 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 183 days or more in the country must pay tax on their global income. 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.
But prosecutors claim she spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in 2014.
The singer said she became responsible for paying income tax in Spain when she enrolled their son Milan in school there in 2014.
Shakira and Piqué confirmed in June 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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