Shakira charged with tax evasion in Spain
Shakira has been charged with tax evasion in Spain, where prosecutors allege the international pop star failed to pay more than $16 million (Dhs60m) between 2012 and 2014.
The charges claim Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, listed the Bahamas as her official residence for tax purposes during those years but was in fact living in Spain with her partner, Spanish football player Gerard Pique. Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas — where Shakira co-purchased an island in 2011, the year before she claimed on taxes to have lived in the Caribbean. The singer has denied the charges against her.
Shakira was named in the “Paradise Papers” leaks that detailed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous highprofile individuals, including musical celebrities like Madonna and U2’s Bono. In a statement released through her representatives, Shakira said she was not a legal resident in Spain during the years in question.
She claimed to owe nothing to the Spanish tax authorities, who she said were using her “as a scapegoat” to frighten other taxpayers into coming clean.
Prosecutors in Barcelona have said Shakira’s travel abroad was for short periods because of professional commitments, while most of the year she stayed in Spain. They want her to pay tax in Spain on her worldwide income.
A magistrate must now assess whether there is enough evidence to put Shakira on trial.