Shakira Settles Tax Fraud Case
Shakira has settled a long-standing, multi-million dollar tax dispute with Spanish authorities.
The Colombian pop star reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors to settle the tax fraud case just as her trial was about to commence today (November 20).
While prosecutors were looking to see her jailed for eight years and fined €23.8m ($35.755m CAD), they accepted a settlement in which Shakira will pay a €7.5m ($11+m CAD) fine. She had previously rejected a deal offered by prosecutors, instead looking to go to trial.
Shakira has always pled her innocence, but says she settled "with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight."
In a statement, she said, "Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what's right and set a positive example for others. Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people's energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time.
"While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight."
She says she now hopes to "move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love - my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career".
Spanish prosecutors charged Shakira for a second time back in September with failing to pay €6.7 million (approximately $9.5 million CAD) in taxes, in regards to her 2018 income. She was already facing tax fraud charges in a separate case claiming she owed €14.5 million (more than $20 million CAD) from back taxes between 2012 to 2014, when she lived in Barcelona.
Although she lives in Miami, FL, they allege that Shakira has used an offshore company within a tax haven to avoid paying the tax.
According to Spanish law, any person who spends more than half a year in the country is required to pay tax on their global income. Shakira claimed that her primary residence was in the Bahamas and only visited Spain on a number of occasions to spend time with FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué, who she was dating at the time.
Spanish prosecutors argue that Shakira actually exceeded the number, spending 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in 2014. But Shakira says she was only required to start paying income tax in Spain after enrolling her son (with Piqué), Milan, in school there during 2014.
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