The singer Shakira, one of the most important representatives of the world music industry, is called to trial. The Prosecutor’s Office asks for up to 8 years in prison for allegedly evading taxes in Spain. The Colombian pleads not guilty and says that she will prove it in court.
Colombian singer Shakira will have to go to trial in Spain after being accused of not paying some 14.5 million euros (a similar amount in dollars) in income taxes, as determined by a judge in the Catalan municipality of Esplugues de Llobregat.
The 45-year-old artist refused on July 27 to reach an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, which asks for a sentence of up to eight years and two months in prison and a fine of about 25 million dollars.
The accusing entity points out that she did not pay taxes between 2012 and 2014, when she lived in Barcelona, although she maintains that in that period she led a “nomadic life” for her work.
The Colombian said that she will fight against the “false” accusations by the Spanish authorities and that she had already made the payment of her taxes and a fine of 2.8 million dollars to the Tax Agency before the state entities presented the claim for non-payment.
The defense of the famous said in a statement that the call to trial is “one more request” in any procedure “of that type.” “The situation has not changed and everything continues normally,” said his lawyers, announcing that they will present their arguments when it is “opportune.”
The Prosecutor’s Office maintains that Shakira lived in Spain on a regular basis between 2012 and 2014, at first in Barcelona and then in a nearby house that she bought with her ex-partner Gerard Piqué.
Spanish law determines that someone who lives in the country more than 183 days a year, that is, at least six months, must pay taxes as a tax resident and for the value of their “world income” both for the Income Tax of Individuals, such as Wealth Tax.
The Prosecutor’s Office assures that the stays outside the country during 2012 and 2014 were only for “professional reasons, with a very short duration”, according to the prosecuting body, which mentioned that the only long outings were when he participated in the program The Voice in the United States. , for 61 days in 2012, 118 in 2013 and 117 in 2014.
A structure that allegedly sought to deceive the treasury
In addition, the artist is accused of using a “corporate network” whose headquarters were tax havens in Malta, Panama, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, with which she allegedly sought to hide her income and assets. According to this statement, the singer’s companies would be the ones that would have appeared as holders of her income and not her.
Also, according to the accusations, she was advised in 2008, 2012 and 2013 to make agreements with the Luxembourg authorities to benefit from the Tax Ruling, which set “specific and privileged tax conditions”, with which the singer paid only 2% of your gross income. She would thus have been able to transfer most of her income to accounts outside of Spain. Shakira never informed the Spanish treasury of these agreements.
The artist would still have time before the trial to reach a deal with the three entities that accuse her: the Treasury, the Tax Agency of Catalonia and the Prosecutor’s Office.
The name of the Colombian came to light in 2021 in the ‘Pandora Papers’, a journalistic investigation that pointed out to multiple world public figures of having kept their assets in tax havens.
Spain has found football greats such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo guilty of tax evasion, although both were able to avoid going to jail, due to a provision that leaves it to the judge that people without a record and whose crimes do not exceed two years of sentence can benefit from the suspension of the sentence.
With EFE, Reuters, AFP and AP