Pop sensation Shakira is once again in legal turmoil as Spanish prosecutors hit her with a second tax evasion charge, this time for an alleged $7.1 million fraud in 2018. The Grammy-winning artist is already awaiting trial for a separate tax evasion case set to begin in November 2023, where she faces accusations of failing to pay $15.4 million in taxes.
The new charges against Shakira were officially unveiled on Tuesday, September 26, by Spanish authorities. These allegations claim that Shakira failed to declare income she received as advance payments for her El Dorado World Tour and other earnings in 2018.
The prosecutors, who had been gathering evidence for two months before opening the case in July 2023, contend that Shakira diverted funds to companies located in countries known for their low taxation and financial opacity.
This marks the second tax-related charge against the Colombian singer, who has maintained her innocence throughout these legal battles. Her legal team in Miami is currently preparing her defense for the initial tax evasion case, scheduled to begin this November.
Shakira’s Tax Troubles Unfold
Shakira’s legal woes began with allegations of tax evasion spanning from 2012 to 2014, a period during which she lived with her then-partner, soccer star Gerard Piqué, in Barcelona. Spanish tax authorities argued that her residence in Spain during this time obligated her to pay taxes to the Spanish government.
However, Shakira has consistently defended herself, asserting that her primary residence was in her hometown, the Bahamas, during the aforementioned years. She claimed she had no intention of concealing her income and asserted her commitment to meeting her tax obligations.
To bolster her case, Shakira’s PR firm, Llorente y Cuenca, stated that she had not only paid the taxes owed but also an additional $3 million in interest. These payments led to an appeal against the initial tax evasion charges.
The Upcoming Trial
The looming trial, commencing on November 20, 2023, pertains to the alleged tax evasion of $15.4 million. Shakira faces a total of six separate tax-related cases, which have dogged her for years. In 2021, Judge Marco Juberias of Spain ruled that there was enough evidence to suggest criminal wrongdoing.
Despite having the option of an out-of-court settlement in July 2022, Shakira chose to defend herself in court. In May 2023, another Spanish court upheld the 2021 ruling, rejecting Shakira’s appeal for innocence.
Shakira, born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has had a tumultuous relationship with Spain’s tax authorities. Her constant movement in and out of the country since her time with Gerard Piqué has only intensified the scrutiny. In recent years, Spain has cracked down on famous figures, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, suspected of failing to meet their tax obligations in full.
Spain’s legal system allows judges to waive sentences of up to two years for first-time offenders. However, if found guilty, Shakira could potentially face an eight-year prison sentence and a significant financial penalty.
As the legal proceedings continue to unfold, Shakira’s fans and the global community eagerly await the outcome of her trials. The pop sensation’s legal battles have underscored the importance of tax compliance for high-profile individuals, serving as a cautionary tale for celebrities and public figures worldwide.
A1: Shakira faces a second tax evasion charge in Spain, alleging a $7.1 million fraud in 2018. These charges accuse her of failing to declare income from her El Dorado World Tour and other earnings.
A2: Shakira’s trial is scheduled to begin on November 20, 2023. It pertains to the alleged tax evasion of $15.4 million, covering the period from 2012 to 2014.
A3: If found guilty, Shakira could face an eight-year prison sentence and a significant financial penalty. Spain’s legal system allows judges to waive sentences under two years for first-time offenders.
A4: Shakira has consistently maintained her innocence, asserting that her primary residence during the disputed years was in her hometown, the Bahamas. She has also made payments to cover the taxes owed and interest.
A5: Shakira’s legal troubles have garnered significant media attention and serve as a reminder of the importance of tax compliance for high-profile individuals. The outcomes of her trials will be closely watched by fans and public figures alike.