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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Shakira to Face Trial in Spain over Alleged Tax Fraud

In a statement, Shakira's legal team promised to carry out their duties "by presenting [the] reasons at the appropriate moment"

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

SPAIN: Shakira, a legendary musician from Colombia, will be tried for tax fraud at an unannounced future date, according to court documents made public on Tuesday.

After the singer turned down a plea agreement related to tax cheating allegations, prosecutors in Barcelona said in July that they would seek a prison sentence of more than eight years and a fine of around 24 million euros ($24 million) against her.

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The 45-year-old has vehemently refuted all accusations of wrongdoing.

In a recent interview with Elle magazine’s Spanish version, she stated, “I am certain that I have enough proof to back my case and that justice will win in my favour.”

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In a statement, Shakira’s legal team promised to carry out their duties “by presenting [the] reasons at the appropriate moment.”

She had earlier turned down a plea bargain from the prosecution and chosen to go to trial instead. Shakira’s residency status between 2012 and 2014, when prosecutors claimed she was allegedly residing in Spain but giving another address as her official residence, is at the centre of this dispute.

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Prosecutors allege six tax crimes during a period from 2012 to 2014 when they claim Shakira was living in Spain but stating her main residence elsewhere.

Spanish law defines a person as a resident for tax purposes if they stay in the nation for more than six months. Shakira claims that she was not primarily residing in Spain at the time.

Prosecutors allegedly said in a document released in July that she and her ex-partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, purchased a home in Barcelona in 2012 that they used as a family residence.

Shakira and ex-partner Gerard Pique. Photo Credit: Instagram

According to her attorneys, she spent a significant amount of time travelling outside of Spain up until 2014 and earned the majority of her money from international tours.

“When the Spanish tax officials learned I was dating a Spanish citizen, they began to drool. It’s obvious that they intended to pursue that cash at any costs “she said to Elle magazine.

In 2015, Shakira declared Spain to be her home country for tax purposes. She claimed she had paid $17.2 million in taxes and didn’t owe anyone anything.

The Spanish national court penalised  Piqué €2.1 million in a separate case in 2019 for tax evasion between 2008 and 2010. Court number 2 Esplugues de Llobregat has agreed to start the trial, the date of which has not been set, although El Mundo indicates that it will be “in the coming months”.

Early in June, the couple declared their separation after 11 years together. Together, they have two sons, ages seven and nine.

The first time she publicly discussed their breakup was in an interview with Elle, where she admitted to the publication that she is currently going through “perhaps one of the most painful, darkest hours of my life.”

The “Pandora Papers,” one of the biggest financial document breaches ever, which included public people connected to offshore assets, included Shakira in its list of names in October 2021.

Also Read: Shakira Opens up about Her Breakup with Gerard Piqué

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