So, what’s actually going on with Shakira’s tax fraud trial?

Photo credit: Roy Rochlin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Roy Rochlin - Getty Images

Shakira (full name, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) usually makes headlines for her impressive dance moves, but recently the singer has been hit with tax fraud allegations and she's soon to be the centre of what will no doubt be a highly publicised trial. Colombian-born Shakira is accused of failing to pay taxes to Spain between 2012 and 2014 and is facing an eight-year prison sentence on top of a multi-million euro fine.

Yesterday, a judge ruled that the Shakira will stand trial in the tax fraud case, prompting many fans to ask questions about what the ordeal is actually all about. With that in mind, we took a deep-dive into what's going on with Shakira's tax fraud trial...

What is Shakira accused of?

Hips Don't Lie singer Shakira is accused of committing six tax crimes, including tax evasion, totalling an amount of €14.5m (£12.9m).

Under Spanish law, people who spend more than six months in the country are considered residents for tax purposes and in July, prosecutors issued a document which claimed that Shakira bought a house in Barcelona in 2012, which became a family home for her and her then-partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué.

But Shakira says that Spain was not where she was mainly living at the time of the accused crime: 2012 to 2014. The singer's lawyers have said that up until 2014, most of her income came from international tours and she spent long chunks of time outside of Spain.

The 45-year-old declared Spain to be her place of residence for tax purposes in 2015 and she claims to have paid €17.2m in tax with no outstanding debts against her.

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

What has Shakira said about the tax fraud accusations?

"I am confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favour," Shakira told the Spanish edition of Elle earlier this month.

"It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities often do this not only with well-known people like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso and many more), but also unfairly with other anonymous taxpayers," she went on. "The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It's clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what."

Shakira continued: "While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour. I was out of Spain for more than 240 days, so there was no way to qualify as a resident... They knew that I was not in Spain for the required time, that Spain was not my place of work or my source of income, but they still pursued me, with their eyes on the prize."

How much prison time could Shakira get if found guilty?

Spanish prosecutors want to jail Shakira for eight years and fine her €23.8m if she is found guilty. Previously, the star rejected a deal offered by prosecutors, instead opting to go to trial. Her legal team said in a statement that they would do their job "by presenting [the] arguments at the appropriate time."

When is Shakira's trial?

A date for Shakira's tax fraud trial has not yet been set, but on 27 September a Barcelona court ordered the singer to stand trial for the six alleged tax crimes she has been accused of.

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