Shakira ordered to face trial in tax fraud case
Colombian singer Shakira will have to face trial in the ongoing tax fraud case, a Spanish court ordered on Tuesday. The date for the trial has not been set yet. In July, a Spanish prosecutor called for Shakira's prison sentence of eight years and two months for alleged tax evasion. Moreover, she would have to pay a fine of $24M, if found guilty.
Shakira accused of evading tax on income earned between 2012-14
The case pertains to the singer allegedly failing to pay around $14M in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, better known mononymously as Shakira, was reportedly asked to sign a deal with the authorities to evade standing on trial, but she rejected it. She maintains innocence, claiming she has returned the money and an extra $2.8M in interest.
Why is Colombian Shakira being tried by Spanish prosecutors?
Despite being Colombian, why is Shakira being tried for tax evasion in Spain? Well, Spanish prosecutors allege that Shakira bought a house in Barcelona, Spain, in May 2012 and was "ordinarily resident in Spain between 2012 and 2014." Of course, this house was bought for Shakira but also for her ex-husband/footballer Gerard Pique, and their first son, who was born in Barcelona in 2013.
Shakira is facing six counts of tax fraud
According to a September 19 order, made public on Tuesday, the three-time Grammy winner would face six counts of tax fraud. Prosecutors have maintained that the Waka Waka singer lived in Spain from 2011-2012 but remained an official citizen of the Bahamas until 2015. Notably, Shakira moved when she started dating Pique. The recently separated couple has two children.
Both Messi, Ronaldo were found guilty of evading tax before
The 45-year-old's publicists stated earlier that she "has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer." Before Shakira, the Spanish government cracked down on world-renowned footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for evading tax payments. Both were found guilty but their jail sentences were waived off on account of being first-time offenders.