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What To Know About Shakira’s Pending Trial For Tax Fraud In Spain

On Tuesday, a judge in Spain decreed that Shakira, a Colombian singer and international sensation, must go on trial for alleged tax fraud. This development comes following this summer’s failed negotiations between the musician and the Spanish government. Shakira made her first statement on the situation in public in July, saying that the prosecutor’s office had used improper pressure tactics, as they routinely and unfairly do with thousands of taxpayers for gain.

What are the charges?

Shakira has been accused by the Spanish government of cheating the nation out of 14.5 million euros in taxes, or around $13.9 million, between 2012 and 2014. Six financial offences have been alleged against her by three different governmental bodies. In order for her to be considered a Spanish resident for tax purposes, the singer would have had to have resided in Spain during that time, or technically spent more than 183 days there.

Shakira, however, asserts that she was a citizen of the Bahamas at the time. She relocated to Barcelona in 2015, where she previously resided with her ex-partner, FC Barcelona soccer player Gerard Piqué. In 2018, the artist was initially accused of tax fraud by the Spanish government.

The state’s investigation was technically over in July 2021, but Shakira’s defence tried to stop the trial by filing an appeal, which they lost. The prosecution would have considerably lowered or dropped the prison sentence had the defence accepted the plea and returned the money, thereby admitting guilt.

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The artist could receive a sentence of eight years and two months in prison and a fine of 23.7 million euros if found guilty of all charges. The fact that Shakira allegedly utilised businesses in tax havens to conceal her income, according to the authorities, makes the alleged crimes all the more serious.

How has Shakira responded?

All tax fraud claims against Shakira are categorically denied. The Grammy winner stated that she declined to reach a settlement with Spanish authorities because she could demonstrate that she had not been a resident of Spain for those three years in an interview with Elle magazine last week.

Shakira told Elle, “I have to stand up for what I believe since these are baseless charges.” “First off, I didn’t spend anything like 183 days a year at that time. I was occupied attending to my international business obligations.

Second, even before they filed a case, I paid what they claimed I owed, she added. So I owe them nothing as of today. Finally, I received advice from one of the four largest tax consulting businesses.

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What happens next?

Despite being found guilty of tax evasion, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi avoided prison time thanks to a rule that permits judges to suspend sentences of up to two years for first-time offenders. The two parties discussed reducing the prison term to two years and the possibility of the prosecution agreeing to postpone the punishment’s execution for Shakira. When the defence rejected the deal, that option was no longer an option.

Although the trial’s start date has not yet been determined, this choice signifies that Shakira will now have to go on trial. Judge Ana Duro of Barcelona has stated that the trial would begin as soon as she has obtained the required paperwork from both parties.

But until the trial’s actual day, there is still a chance that a deal might be reached. The judge also decided that the singer won’t be subjected to any preventative measures, such as house arrest.

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