Shakira Faces $7M Tax Evasion Charge in Spain

Legal troubles mount for Shakira over unpaid taxes

by Nouman Rasool
Shakira Faces $7M Tax Evasion Charge in Spain
© Mike Coppola/GettyImages

Internationally acclaimed pop sensation Shakira has found herself at the center of a new tax controversy in Spain, with allegations suggesting that she owes the Spanish treasury a sum of $7.1 million (equivalent to 6.7 million euros) for the fiscal year 2018.

This recent development comes after Barcelona-based prosecutors pointed fingers at the "Hips Don't Lie" singer for reportedly employing an offshore entity situated in a recognized tax haven, thereby evading her tax duties, a revelation brought forward by the Associated Press.

Shakira's Multi-Year Tax Battles

Back in July, Spanish authorities near Barcelona flagged their intent to probe into this purported tax evasion for the year 2018. To add to Shakira's legal quandaries, she is concurrently slated for trial regarding an earlier $13.9 million tax evasion case.

This previous accusation revolves around her alleged non-payment of income taxes spanning from 2012 to 2014. The underpinning of these charges is based on the contention that Shakira, despite declaring her residence in the Bahamas, resided in Spain for more than six months each year over this timeframe.

It's pertinent to note that Spain's tax legislation mandates anyone who spends over half a year in the nation to be legally considered a resident, thus being liable for taxes. In the worst-case scenario, should Shakira be found guilty in the preceding trial, she could face a sentence of up to eight years behind bars.

The Grammy Award-winning artist, however, has been resolute in refuting these claims. During a 2022 interview with Elle magazine, Shakira vociferously labeled these as "false accusations." She underscored that her global professional commitments kept her away from Spain for the majority of each year during the period in question.

In her own words, Shakira clarified, “I've cleared every due amount long before any legal actions were initiated, leaving my current balance with the authorities at nil”. She further remarked on the aggressive approach of Spanish tax authorities, highlighting the experiences of other celebrities, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

Shakira expressed her optimism, emphasizing her preparedness and abundant evidence to bolster her defense, confident in the eventual vindication of her position.