Pop megastar Shakira has reached an agreement with Spanish authorities, effectively settling her tax dispute and circumventing a looming trial. This development comes after the singer initially vowed to counter the tax evasion accusations in court.
Details of the Settlement
On the morning of her scheduled court appearance in Barcelona, Shakira agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine. This settlement addresses allegations that she evaded €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in income tax between 2012 and 2014. Spanish prosecutors, who were previously advocating for an eight-year prison sentence and a €23.8 million ($26 million) fine, have withdrawn their imprisonment demands in favor of the agreed fines. This decision marks the end of the trial proceedings, as confirmed by the presiding judge.
The Crux of the Tax Evasion Case
The case against Shakira stemmed from her alleged failure to pay taxes during her stay in Spain between 2012 and 2014. Spanish law mandates that anyone residing in the country for over 183 days in a calendar year is liable to pay taxes. Shakira’s defense argued that her primary residence was in the Bahamas, and she did not meet the residency requirement in Spain. However, the prosecution maintained that she spent more than the requisite days in Spain, particularly due to her relationship with Gerard Piqué, suggesting her tax liability.
Shakira’s Response to the Settlement
Initially, Shakira had declined a deal last year, choosing to defend herself against the allegations. However, citing her children’s well-being and personal sacrifices involved in a protracted legal battle, Shakira opted to resolve the case before trial. She emphasized her intention to defend her innocence, which her legal team believed would have been vindicated in court.
Shakira’s Global Impact and Tax Case Background
Shakira, celebrated for hits like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka,” is a globally recognized artist with numerous records and awards. Her work extends beyond music, involving philanthropy and roles such as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The crux of the Spanish tax case hinged on her residency status during 2012-2014, a period when she was married to football star Gerard Piqué. While Shakira claimed her primary residence was outside Spain, prosecutors argued that her prolonged presence in the country made her liable for taxes during those years.
Ongoing Legal Challenges
This settlement does not mark the end of Shakira’s legal challenges in Spain. The pop star faces another ongoing investigation related to alleged tax fraud in 2018. Despite these challenges, Shakira’s team maintains her compliance with the law and adherence to expert tax advice.