Latin-American singer Shakira blasts Spanish authorities amid her ongoing tax fraud case, as she is accused of swindling $14 million.
The Colombian singer, 45, told authorities that she was not a resident of Spain from 2012 to 2014 and is therefore not obligated to pay the 14 million USD in taxes for income earned.
It is imperative for individuals to pay taxes when they spend 183 days or more in Spain in a single year or if the country is the center of their economic interests as reported by TMZ.
As it happens, she actually paid $10,141,075 in taxes to the U.S. government during that period, where she appeared as a coach on The Voice, according to the website.
Shakira blasts the Spanish tax authorities
Ahead of a tax evasion trial, the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer and her legal team launched a scathing attack on the Spanish authorities on Friday for charging her with tax evasion in 2018.
“Because I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations,” she told Elle in the publication’s October cover story.
“First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days…[in Spain] at that time at all,” she said, as “I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world.”
Secondly, she added “I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them.”
Shakira believes she was transparent in everything
“I was advised by one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, so I was confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one,” she revealed.
“However, even without evidence to support these fictional claims, as they usually do, they’ve resorted to a salacious press campaign to try to sway people,” she maintained.
They “apply pressure in the media along with the threat of reputational damage in order to coerce settlement agreements,” she said assertedly.
The singer further said that the “Spanish tax authorities do this often” to both celebrities and “unjustly to the regular taxpayer.”
However, she believes that she has enough proof to support her case and that justice will prevail in her favor.
Prosecutors are seeking eight year prison sentence
The British newspaper Metro reported that prosecutors are seeking an eight year prison sentence and a $24 million fine if she’s found guilty in the upcoming trial.
Spanish prosecutors are arguing that Shakira was mostly living in Spain during the time period between 2012 and 2014, according to the Associated Press.
TMZ published that Shakira declared herself a tax resident of Spain in 2015 after settling there with her family and enrolling her son in school, according to legal documents.
However, an investigation by The Guardian reports that the official residence for the mother of two was listed in the Bahamas.
E! News gives more details about Shakira and her legal battle in the video below.
An insider revealed Shakira declared herself a tax resident
In 2018, a source close to Shakira told E! News that she “did not reside in Spain longer than 183 days” in the years in question and that she declared herself a tax resident of Spain in 2015.
The insider shared that “as soon as Shakira spent more than 183 days in Spain in a fiscal year, she took the initiative to declare herself a tax resident in Spain and pay taxes in this country.”
The source added that the singer had “already paid the monies that are allegedly deemed owed by the Tax Agency and, therefore, currently owes nothing to the Spanish state.”
A representative for the singer confirmed that Shakira rejected prosecutors’ offer to settle her tax fraud case, and it will now head to trial, as reported by Reuters, in July 2022.
“Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm,” it was said.
Shakira maintains her innocence on allegations
Claiming she’s the victim of a smear campaign, Shakira said “inappropriate measures” had been taken to harm her reputation and pressure her into entering into a settlement agreement.
Shakira said, “It is unacceptable that, in its accusation, the tax authorities are not respecting the legal certainty that must be guaranteed to any taxpayer.”
“They are trying to damage a reputation earned over many years,” she said, and “in my case, they have violated my right to privacy and the presumption of innocence, basic rights of any citizen.”
She further revealed that unorthodox methods were used by the Spanish Treasury in their investigation against her, such as requesting private data from hospitals where the singer requested an appointment. She referred to their case as a “contrived story.”
Shakira’s lawyer presented her legal statement
Shakira’s lawyer, Pablo Molins Amat, presented her legal statement of offense to the Barcelona court, which has been investigating her, on Friday, the Daily Mail reported.
The legal statement reads, “Shakira is a taxpayer who has always shown impeccable tax conduct and has never had tax problems in any other jurisdiction. She never exceeded the 183 days of presence in Spain required to be a tax resident.”
“With no solid evidence to support the charges against her, she has been fiercely persecuted in the criminal and media spheres using unacceptable methods to damage her reputation and force her to come to a settlement agreement,” the statement further added.
It was added that “Shakira has already paid more than 90 million euros for international income that has not been generated in Spain and for her international assets, without having a business center in this country where she has never earned a significant income.”
Shakira’s representatives reveal more
Her representatives added that “what actually occurred were sporadic presences, thus resulting in an accusation based on mere conjecture.”
“As an example, the accusation counts all the payments made with a series of credit cards, belonging to her team and friends made in Spain to add up the days of Shakira’s presence in this country,” her representatives explained.
According to her representatives, there are often simultaneous payments by Shakira in various parts of the world, but this doesn’t mean she is actually physically present in all those areas at the specific times of payment.
“Shakira continues to maintain her firm will comply with all her tax obligations in Spain,” it was said, “as well as in all the countries where she has resided or performed during her long professional career.”
“Finally,” it was announced that “Shakira wishes to express her absolute confidence in the independence of the Spanish justice system and her firm conviction that, after the trial, her full innocence will prevail.”
E! News has reached out to the Spanish tax authorities but has not heard back.