Singer, Shakira Facing Eight-years Jail Term And £19million Fine Over £12m Tax Fraud
Popular Columbian singer/songwriter, Shakira is reportedly facing up to eight years in jail if prosecutors find her guilty of an alleged massive £12m tax fraud.
The Hips Don’t Lie’ singer, 45, is charged with defrauding the Spanish treasury out of millions over a three-year period between 2012 and 2014.
Spanish prosecutors are pushing for the highest-possible sentence over six separate counts of tax fraud totalling 14.5 million euros (£12.2m).
As well as an eight-year prison sentence, state prosecutors want the mum-of-two to be slapped with a 23 million euro fine (£19.2m).
Shakira is accused of pretending to live abroad to avoid paying tax despite moving to Barcelona in 2011 to be with her ex, Spanish defender Gerard Pique.
She has already paid out an estimated three million euros (£2.5m) to the Spanish taxman.
She is accused of using the illegal arrangement from 2012 and 2014, when she was in a relationship with footballer Gerard Pique who lives and plays in Barcelona.
The couple, who have two children together, split earlier this year amid allegations in local media that Pique had been unfaithful.
Shakira is said to have tried to rekindle the relationship twice but was rebuffed by Pique, before the pair confirmed their separation.
Despite the split, the couple seem to have remained on civil terms and have been seen attending their children’s sports games together.
A spokesman for Shakira said: ‘Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.
‘Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case.
‘Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process.’
Shakira, previously a tax resident in the Bahamas, only registered as a full tax resident in Spain in 2015.
Official residents in Spain pay Spanish taxes on their worldwide income.
People who spent more than 183 days in a given calendar year in Spain are considered Spanish residents for tax purposes.
Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking up on Shakira, even visiting her favourite hairdressers in Barcelona and checking her social media to try to show she spent most of the three years in dispute in Spain.
They concluded she had spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014.
Shakira could be jailed for eight years and fined £19million if convicted.