Shakira charged with tax eva­sion in Spain

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - ALL THE GOSS -

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.

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