Shakira could face up to eight years in prison for tax fraud
Prosecutor’s office also requests €23.7 million fine and for musician to not receive any tax incentives for more than 18 years
Colombian musician and Barcelona resident Shakira could face up to eight years and two months in prison for allegedly defrauding the Spanish treasury office of €14.5 million. The artist could also have to pay a fine of up to €23.7 million and not receive any tax incentives for at least 18 years and one month.
The public prosecutor’s office announced on Friday that they are accusing Shakira of defrauding the treasury office between the years 2012 and 2014 when Shakira says she wasn't residing in Spain, although authorities believe she was already a Barcelona resident.
On Wednesday, Shakira rejected an agreement with the public prosecutor’s office to avoid a trial for tax fraud, accusing the Treasury of "persecution" and assuring that she will continue with the judicial process.
The singer said in a statement that the case is a "total violation of her rights."
Shakira and her ex-partner, the Barça footballer Gerard Piqué, already paid around 17.3 million euros to the Treasury with the hopes of regularising her fiscal situation. "Therefore, there has been no outstanding debt with the Treasury for many years," explained the legal team on Wednesday.
"Only minimal efforts have been done to prove her permanence for a period of days, but nowhere near to what the law requires to be considered as a resident since the singer traveled abroad many times for work," claimed her legal team.
Judged indicted Shakira in May
The Barcelona Provincial Court indicted the Colombian singer in May as the court considered the artist had lived in Catalonia between 2012 and 2014 and therefore should have paid taxes in Spain.
The prosecution and the Spanish tax authorities understand that Shakira created several companies in tax havens to avoid paying taxes despite having lived in Spain for more than half a year. The judge believes that the singer did not pay taxes in 2012, although she had resided in the territory for 243 days, in 2013 when she spent 212 days in Spain, and in 2014 when Shakira stayed for 244 days.
The law stipulates that residents who live in Spain for 183 days or more must pay tax. The judge considers the other days "sporadic absences," therefore the pop star avoided paying €12.3 million in IRPF taxes and around €2.2 million in wealth taxes.