Shakira Appears in Spanish Court Over Tax Evasion Allegations

In December, prosecutors had charged the 42-year-old Latin pop star for allegedly not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014

By Corinne Heller 06 Jun, 2019 3:06 PMTags
ShakiraQuimi Ortiz / BACKGRID

Shakira is denying any wrongdoing with regard to her tax evasion case in Spain.

In December, prosecutors charged the 42-year-old Latin pop star for allegedly failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014, when she allegedly lived most of the time in Barcelona with husband and soccer player Gerard Piqué, and accused her of committing six counts of fraud. She could face a jail sentence if found guilty. Shakira testified before a judge about the case on Thursday and said that she began living in Spain in 2015 and currently has no debts to the tax agency, Spanish news channel 24 Horas reported.

"Shakira has always, including in the period between 2011 and 2014, met her tax obligations in every country she has worked in," Shakira's PR firm said in a statement on Thursday, according to reports.

The group also said, that "as soon as she was informed of the amount that according to Spain's Tax Office she should pay... Shakira paid that amount in its entirety."

The prosecution alleges that for tax purposes, Shakira pretended to live abroad while really residing with Piqué in Spain, and allegedly used shelter companies to hide her earnings in tax havens, Billboard quoted Spanish media as saying.

Shakira's reps had said in the past that during the years examined by the court, the pop star was still a resident of the Bahamas, where she had bought a house with an ex-boyfriend, and legally changed her residency to Spain in 2015, Billboard reported. However, the singer did gush during an interview on a Spanish talk show in 2011 that she was already "officially living in Barcelona" at that time, the outlet added. 

The outlet noted that in 2018, Shakira paid the Spanish tax agency more than 20 million euros (almost $25 million dollars) in back taxes for money owed for 2011, and also paid another 14.5 million euros for the years 2012-2014 as a good faith measure before the tax evasion charges became public.