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Shakira faces fresh tax fraud probe in Spain over 2018 personal income and assets

The Colombian singer has a trial pending in November for allegedly defrauding €14.5 million between 2012 and 2014, which she denies

Shakira at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships
Shakira at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships.Karwai Tang (WireImage)

Shakira faces further embroilment with the Spanish tax authorities after a court in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, opened a second case following a complaint from the Public Prosecutor’s Office accusing the singer of defrauding the Tax Agency in personal income tax and wealth tax for the 2018 fiscal year. Shakira is already set to go to trial in Spain over the alleged fraud of €14.5 million ($16.1 million), charges which she denies.

Both the High Court of Justice of Catalonia and the Prosecutor’s Office have confirmed the opening of proceedings, as first reported by the daily Vozpopuli, although they have not provided more data while they wait for the singer — who now resides in Miami — to be notified. The latest case concerns two alleged tax crimes when Shakira was living permanently in Barcelona with her ex-partner, Gerard Piqué, and their two children. The investigation, therefore, is not related to her place of residence as the previous investigation is, but to an alleged irregularity detected by the Treasury and which, in the eyes of the Prosecutor’s Office, may constitute a crime.

Shakira has been set a trial date of November 20 in Barcelona over allegations that she defrauded €14.5 million between the years 2012 and 2014, in a case that was also initiated following a complaint from the Prosecutor’s Office, which is seeking more than eight years in prison for the singer. Prosecutors argue that at that time, Shakira was already a resident in Spain and therefore should have submitted her tax returns in the country. However, the singer argues that during the period in question her registered tax residence was in the Bahamas and that she was traveling extensively all over the world due to her professional commitments and that at no point did she spend more than 184 days in Spain, which is the criteria for being considered a resident for tax purposes. The singer has also pointed out that she has returned the money claimed by the Tax Agency.

In a statement following the announcement of the new investigation, sources close to Shakira said the singer “has not received any notification” and regretted learning of the proceedings “through the media.” The statement denounces the “media and reputational pressure” to which, in their opinion, Shakira is being subjected. Her representatives added that the notice must be delivered to her personally at her new home in Miami, and stressed that the artist has “always acted in accordance with the law and under the advice of the best tax experts. She is focused on her artistic life in Miami and is calm and confident about the favorable resolution of her tax affairs.”

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