Shakira to go on trial accused of €14.5m tax fraud

Shakira - Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Shakira - Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Shakira is to go on trial to defend accusations she failed to pay €14.5 million in income taxes after failing to reach a settlement.

Prosecutors in Barcelona said in July they would seek a prison sentence of more than eight years against the Hips Don't Lie singer and a fine of nearly €24 million euros after she rejected a plea deal over accusations of tax evasion.

They accuse Shakira, 45, of defrauding the Spanish tax office of €14.5 million on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors say Shakira moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.

On September 19, a Barcelona court ordered the singer to stand trial for six alleged tax crimes, according to a court ruling made public on Tuesday.

Shakira has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claims she owes nothing to the Spanish tax office.

‘Justice will prevail’

“I’m confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favour,” she said in an interview published in Elle magazine last week.

“While Gerard and I were dating, I was on a world tour. I spent more than 240 days outside Spain, so there was no way I qualified as a resident,” she added.

“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.”

The case centres on where Shakira lived during 2012-14.

Shakira’s lawyers have said that until 2014 she earned most of her money from international tours, moved to Spain full time only in 2015 and has met all her tax obligations.

The singer says she has paid €17.2 million to Spanish tax authorities and has no outstanding debts.