Shakira is accused of tax fraud in Spain. According to Reuters, she appeared in court in Barcelona, Spain, earlier today to answer to those charges. The Spanish Tax Agency reported to the country’s court that she defrauded millions of euros in taxes between 2012 and 2014.
Charges were first filed last December for the period that they say Shakira was living in the Catalonia region of Spain. Shakira’s representatives say she did not live in Spain until 2015 and that she has met all of her tax obligations.
According to Euro Weekly, Shakira’s team presented her concert and television schedule to prove that she lived in in Spain for less than 184 days, so she had no obligation to pay taxes in the country; if you live a country for 184 days, you’re obligated to pay taxes there. However, in reporting on this story in 2019, Billboard noted that even if Shakira had not spent over 183 days in Spain, according to Spanish tax law she could still be considered a resident during those years because her “vital interests” — her home, her partner and her children — are there, and days she spent outside of the country could be qualified as “sporadic absences.” That Billboard story also noted, “[Shakira] is not exactly being singled out. In Spain, celebrities are routinely the poster children in the government’s no-tolerance campaign against tax delinquents.”
Shakira’s partner is Gerard Piqué, a professional football (or, as we would refer to it, soccer) player, who plays for FC Barcelona, a Spanish team. The couple have been together since 2011 and they have two children.
The prosecution alleges that she lied about residing in Spain and hid her earnings through a network of companies based in the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Malta, Panama and Luxembourg.
According to Euro Weekly, Shakira has returned 14.5 million euros to the Tax Agency, as well as the corresponding debts and interests, but insists that she had no obligation to pay taxes in Spain on the dates presented, as she only made occasional visits to Gerard Pique.
This case has been ongoing for a few years: in December of 2018, The Guardian reported that Shakira claimed that she was a resident of the Bahamas during the time in question. In March of 2019, Billboard reported that she faced a possible jail sentence.