Spanish prosecutors have called for Colombian singer Shakira to face a prison sentence of eight years and two months for alleged tax fraud totaling 14.5 million euros between 2012-2014.
The world-famous pop star has opted to face the trial in Barcelona after her legal team snubbed a settlement with prosecutors earlier this week, insisting on her innocence. The artist can still land a deal with prosecutors.
Shakira has already repaid the 14.5 million plus 3 million in interest to Spanish tax authorities, although this does not exempt her from going on trial after Barcelona prosecutors filed six tax fraud charges against her.
Spanish prosecutors have accused her of avoiding income and corporate tax payments between 2012-14 by declaring her residency outside Spain and using a network of companies based in tax havens.
The singer has insisted her tax conduct has been impeccable and claims she was living in the Bahamas, where there is no income tax, and that she had only visited Spain sporadically during that time.
The case dates back to 2017 when the Paradise Papers leak purportedly showed that while tax domiciled in the Bahamas, Shakira had actually been living in the Spanish city of Barcelona with her former partner, FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué.
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The pair have since separated.
Per the investigation, the pop star managed some 31.6 million euros of copyright fees via Malta and Luxembourg, both regarded as tax havens.
Shakira’s legal team has insisted she resided in the Bahamas since 2004 and had traveled “nonstop” in the years that followed. It was not until 2015 that she resided in Spain long enough to meet tax requirements, they added.