Shakira has reached an agreement with Spanish prosecutors on the very first day of her tax fraud trial in Barcelona, according to The Associated Press. This resolution ensures that the Colombian pop sensation won’t be spending any time behind bars. Initially, prosecutors were pursuing a hefty sentence of eight years and two months, along with a substantial fine. However, the final deal entails a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of 7.3 million euros (approximately $8 million). Additionally, she will be paying an extra 432,000 euros (around $472,000) in exchange for her suspended sentence.
The allegations against Shakira revolved around her failure to fulfill her tax obligations to the Spanish government, amassing over 14.5 million euros (equivalent to about $15.8 million) in unpaid taxes for the years 2012 to 2014. It’s worth noting that Shakira’s official residence is in the Bahamas, a locale known for its significantly lower tax rates. Her name became entangled with the infamous “Paradise Papers” leak in 2017, which exposed the offshore tax arrangements of several prominent figures. The crux of the matter rested on whether prosecutors could prove that Shakira had spent more than half of a given year in Spain. If established, this would have compelled her to pay taxes on her worldwide income in Spain, despite her official registration in the Bahamas.
Fast forward to November 2022, and Shakira’s defense team contended that she hadn’t spent more than 60 days a year in Spain during the contentious period. Furthermore, her public relations firm asserted that not only had she settled her initial tax debt with the Spanish government, but she had also contributed an additional 3 million euros (around $3.2 million) to cover interest.
In a statement conveyed through her public relations firm and reported by The Associated Press, Shakira expressed, “I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart, who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight. I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love: my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career.”
It’s essential to note that a separate ongoing investigation by Spanish state prosecutors has charged Shakira with evading 6.7 million euros (about $7.3 million) in taxes on her 2018 income, facilitated through an offshore company situated in a tax haven. The saga continues for the global music icon, but for now, she has managed to navigate the stormy waters of her initial tax fraud trial and steer clear of prison time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Shakira Tax Fraud Trial
What were the charges against Shakira in her tax fraud trial?
Shakira faced allegations of failing to pay over 14.5 million euros in taxes to the Spanish government for the years 2012 to 2014.
What was the potential punishment Shakira was initially facing?
Initially, prosecutors were seeking a sentence of eight years and two months in prison, along with a substantial fine.
What was the outcome of Shakira’s tax fraud trial?
Shakira reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors, avoiding prison time. Instead, she received a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of 7.3 million euros, along with an extra 432,000 euros in exchange for her suspended sentence.
How did Shakira defend herself against the charges?
Shakira’s defense team argued that she had not spent more than 60 days a year in Spain during the period in question. They also claimed that she had paid her initial tax debt and an additional 3 million euros in interest.
What was Shakira’s response to the resolution of her tax fraud case?
Shakira, through her public relations firm, stated that she decided to resolve the matter in the best interest of her children, emphasizing her desire to move past the emotional toll of the case and focus on her career and family.
Is there any other ongoing legal issue involving Shakira and taxes?
Yes, there is an ongoing investigation by Spanish state prosecutors related to Shakira evading 6.7 million euros in taxes on her 2018 income through an offshore company in a tax haven.