Shakira’s Tax Fraud Trial in Spain: What You Need to Know

Colombian pop singer Shakira is set to face trial on charges of tax fraud, as per a decision by a Spanish judge on Tuesday. The charges were filed in 2018 by Spanish prosecutors who alleged that the singer had not paid 14.5 million euros ($19.1 million Cdn) in taxes on her income between 2012 and 2014. If found guilty, Shakira could face an eight-year prison sentence and a substantial fine. However, the singer has denied any wrongdoing and refused a deal to avoid trial. Her public relations firm has stated that she has already paid what was owed and an additional three million euros ($3.7 million Cdn) in interest. The court in Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona, has charged Shakira with six counts of tax fraud, but the date of her trial has not yet been confirmed. The key issue in the case is where Shakira was living between 2012-2014. Prosecutors allege that she spent more than half that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas. Although Shakira’s former partner, soccer player Gerard Piqué, has links to Spain, the couple recently ended their 11-year relationship. Spain has previously prosecuted other soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for tax evasion but waived their sentences under two years for first-time offenders.

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