On Tuesday, a Spanish judge approved a trial for Shakira on charges of tax fraud.
In 2018, Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer of failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($13.9 million) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. If she is found guilty, prosecutors are seeking an 8-year prison sentence and a steep fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion.
Shakira Ordered To Stand Trial In Spain On Tax Fraud Charges
Shakira, 45, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and rejected a deal with authorities to avoid going to trial. Her public relations firm has said that she has already paid all that she owed and an additional 3 million euros ($2.8 million) in interest.
The court based in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat near Barcelona said that Shakira will face six counts of tax fraud. The date for the trial has yet to be set.
The case hinges on where Shakira lived during 2012-14. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, despite the fact that her official residence was in the Bahamas.
Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since she started dating soccer player Gerard Pique.
The couple, who have two children, previously lived together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.
Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full due in taxes.
They were found guilty of evasion but both avoided prison time thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.
Shakira previously called her accusations “false” in an interview with Elle magazine earlier this month, stating “I paid everything they said I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them.”
A spokesperson for the singer said in a statement in July (after agreement on a settlement in the case could not be reached) how, “Shakira and her team consider that this case constitutes a total violation of her rights since she has always shown impeccable behavior, as a person and taxpayer, and a total willingness to resolve any disagreement from the beginning, even before the criminal process.”
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