Shakira, a Colombian singing artist, is accused of avoiding taxes in Spain totaling €14.5 million, or roughly $14.8 million. She faces a lengthy prison term and a substantial fine.
According to a report from the Spanish publication El Pas on Friday, Spanish prosecutors have accused Shakira of committing six instances of tax fraud and have recommended an eight-year and-a-half term as well as a sizable fine of more than €23 million ($23.5 million).
A court close to Barcelona, where Shakira resides, will handle the case. Shakira will be invited to testify at a hearing that is anticipated to take place in the coming weeks.
Shakira first failed in her effort to get the case dismissed last May. Additionally, the artist turned down a settlement proposal from the Spanish judicial ministry earlier this week that would have resolved the dispute without a trial. Shakira alleged at the time that the prosecution was “uncompromising” and had used “improper methods” to coerce her into a plea bargain.
The recent judgement means that Shakira will probably be required to testify before a hearing regardless of new developments, even if only to approve a contract, despite the fact that a deal has not yet been reached, according to El Pas. According to insiders close to the artist, Shakira is “determined” to see the matter through to the finish.
According to Spanish authorities, the alleged fraud took place between 2012 and 2014 while Shakira was allegedly maintaining a fiscal residency in the Bahamas to evade Spanish taxes while residing in Barcelona, Spain, after she started dating Barcelona F.C. player Gerard Pique.
The Colombian actress has said that the time in question was during a period of frequent travel and that she did not formally relocate to Spain until 2015.
Shakira was living in Barcelona, according to records of her visits to hair salons, a maternity centre, and a hired music studio, according to the prosecution.
Shakira’s attorneys have stated that the singer “never remained in Spain long enough” between 2012 and 2014 to be subject to tax regulations. They have also stated that the prosecution has relied on “indirect” evidence to back its assertions regarding Shakira’s residency.
Shakira has stated that she is “fully willing to resolve any differences” with the tax agency if they are determined to be valid. She has further stated that she followed the financial advice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a London-based consulting firm that specialises in tax law and financial services, during the relevant time period. El Pas reports that it is unknown whether the firm is associated with the legal dispute.
Shakira, who contends that she didn’t make Barcelona her new legal home until 2015, is apparently preparing to depart both the Catalan capital and the entire nation. The singer is reportedly looking to relocate to the United States following a public breakup with her lover Pique last month.
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