Shakira settles tax fraud case before trial
Shakira has reached a settlement with Spanish authorities to avoid a trial that accused the singer of evading millions of dollars in taxes.
Colombian popstar Shakira has reached a settlement with Spanish authorities to avoid a trial that accused the singer of evading millions of dollars in taxes. A judge in Barcelona read the terms of the settlement in a courtroom on Monday, the same day the trial was expected to begin. Shakira had been accused of dodging more than 14.5 million euros (more than C$21.7 million) in taxes owed to the Spanish government and was facing a potential eight-year prison sentence. As part of her last-minute settlement, Shakira must pay a fine of about 7.3 million euros (almost C$11 million) and accept a three-year suspended sentence. This marks the end of a five-year legal battle, during which Shakira maintained her innocence. The charges related to taxes owed between 2012 and 2014, and prosecutors alleged the singer spent more than half of that time living in Spain and was therefore required to pay taxes on her worldwide income, despite Spain not being her official residence. Shakira, 46, stated that she made the decision to settle for the sake of her children and to put an end to the emotional toll and stress caused by the legal battle. She also expressed her intention to focus on her children and her upcoming world tour and album. Despite this settlement, Shakira still faces legal troubles, as she was charged with evading 6.7 million euros (more than C$10 million) in taxes on her 2018 income, and accused of using an offshore company based in a tax haven to forgo taxation in Spain. This case against Shakira began in 2018, and she was named in the "Paradise Papers" leaks that detailed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals. Despite her official residence being in the Bahamas, Shakira has been linked to Spain since she started dating now-retired soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, lived together in Barcelona until last year, when they ended their 11-year relationship. This case against Shakira is part of a larger crackdown by Spanish tax authorities on high-profile individuals, including soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.