Shakira appears before Spanish judge on tax fraud charges

by Kim Boateng Posted on June 6th, 2019

Barcelona, Spain: Colombian superstar Shakira’s public relations firm says the pop musician has denied any wrongdoing when she testified before a judge as part of an investigation into her alleged tax evasion in Spain.

Prosecutors charged the singer in December for not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, when she lived mostly in the country despite having an official residence in Panama.

Her public relations firm said In a statement released on Thursday that “Shakira has always, including in the period between 2011 and 2014, met her tax obligations in every country she has worked in.”

It adds that “as soon as she was informed of the amount that according to Spain’s Tax Office she should pay… Shakira paid that amount in its entirety.”

The 42-year-old singer avoided dozens of reporters, photographers and television cameras at the courthouse in Esplugues de Llobregat by entering via the garage.

The hearing of the performer, one of the biggest stars from Latin America who lives in Barcelona with footballer Gerard Pique and their two young sons, was due to start at 10:00 am local time (0800 GMT).

Prosecutors say that while she moved to Spain in 2011 when her relationship with Pique was made public, her official tax residency remained in the Bahamas Islands until 2015 when she started paying taxes in Spain.

Her defense team however insists that until 2014 she earned most of her money in international tours and did not live more than six months a year in Spain – a prerequisite to be an official tax-paying resident in the country.

According to Spanish media, she has already paid back what she allegedly owes to tax authorities.

This is the second time in just over two months that Shakira has appeared in court in Spain after having denied allegations she and Colombian singer Carlos Vives plagiarized part of their Grammy award-winning hit “La Bicicleta.”

The Madrid court subsequently cleared her and Vives, saying there had been “no plagiarism whatsoever.”

Image: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira attending a press conference at the United Nations in New York by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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