Colombian pop singer Shakira has refused to accept the deal offered to her by Spanish prosecutors regarding tax fraud. The allegations claim she swindled the Spanish government out of approximately 14.5 million euros–the equivalent to about $15 million–in taxes. The singer claims she is innocent of tax fraud, and chose to go to trial, rather than have her tax attorney make a deal with the prosecutor. On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Shakira said that she will be placing the issue in the hands of the law because she trusts in her own innocence. The statement came from the singer’s public relations firm, Llorente y Cuenca.
Initial Tax Fraud Charge Brought in 2018
The initial charge was brought against Shakira by Spanish prosecutors in 2018, when they accused her of tax evasion. Prosecutors stated that she failed to pay appropriate taxes on earned income from the years 2012 and 2014. If found guilty of tax fraud, Shakira faces fines, and potential prison time. The singer’s public relations firm stated that the amount she owns the Spanish Tax Agency has been deposited and no other tax debts are pending.
Tax Case Hinges on Residence
According to California tax lawyers, it appears that the case hinges on where the singer resided during the tax years in question. Although her official residence was in the Bahamas, prosecutors argue that she primarily lived in Spain during that time. They allege that Shakira mainly lived in Catalonia’s northern regions for most of the time in question. However, her public relations firm claims that she did not move to Spain permanently until 2015, and that since then, all her tax obligations have been met. It is unlikely the singer would consult an IRS tax attorney, but she will likely need additional legal advice with regard to Spain’s tax laws. No immediate details were available regarding the deal that was offered to the singer by prosecutors, nor has a trial date been set.