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Shakira Faces Second Probe Over Alleged Tax Fraud in Spain

Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year and two-month prison sentence, alongside a substantial fine of over US $26 million from the star.
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Stuart Franklin
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Stuart Franklin

International pop sensation Shakira faces mounting legal challenges as Spanish authorities intensify investigations into alleged tax fraud cases. With a second probe launched for potential tax evasion in 2018 and a pending trial for unpaid taxes between 2012 and 2014, the Grammy-winning singer confronts complex issues regarding her financial reputation, reports Fox News.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by David Ramos
Image Source: David Ramos/Getty Images

Spanish authorities have recently authorized a second investigation into Shakira's taxes, focusing on potential tax fraud cases from 2018. The court has granted state prosecutors the authority to delve into two potential tax fraud instances, further complicating the singer's fiscal affairs. Specific monetary sums related to the latest probe have not been disclosed, which adds to the existing trial for her failure to pay $16.2 million in taxes in 2012, 2013, and 2014, reports CNN.

Shakira was offered a settlement agreement around tax evasion accusations between 2012 and 2014 but the pop star chose to reject it, opting to face trial.  Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year and two-month prison sentence, alongside a substantial fine of 24 million Euros (over US $26 million). The pending trial date adds to the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of this high-profile case.

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Central to the case is the dispute over Shakira's residency status during the years under investigation. Prosecutors assert that the singer spent over 200 days in Spain annually, making her liable for taxes in the country. Shakira's defense team firmly denies these claims, stating, "As has been stated on numerous occasions, Shakira defends having always acted in compliance with the law and under the guidance of the best tax experts," her public relations firm, Llorente y Cuenca, said in a statement. They also maintain that her main residence was in the Bahamas, challenging the allegations and raising questions about her actual residency.

The judge presiding over the case alleges that Shakira and her financial adviser used offshore companies to conceal the sources of her income during the investigated years. Fox news also reported that the same tax fraud allegations from 2012 to 2014 were appealed by the celebrity in May 2022, but the court denied her request for reconsideration. The intricate financial arrangements have further complicated the legal proceedings, casting a shadow of doubt over the transparency of the singer's financial affairs. "Shakira has always acted in concordance with the law and on the advice of her financial advisers," her public relations firm stated. "She is calm and confident that she will receive a favorable resolution of her fiscal issues."

Amid the legal battles, Shakira faced personal challenges as well. After a messy split from former FC-Barcelona player Gerard Piqué in June 2022, Shakira and her two sons, Milan and Sasha moved to the United States, settling in Miami in April 2023, per Page Six. The split from her long-term partner added to the upheaval but the singer remains focused on her artistic career while confronting the legal issues.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by David Ramos
Image Source: David Ramos/Getty Images

Shakira's ongoing legal battles concerning tax fraud allegations have captivated global attention. As investigations and trials progress, the international pop star maintains her innocence, asserting that she has consistently adhered to the law and sought professional advice. The outcomes of these high-profile proceedings will undoubtedly have significant implications for both Shakira's career and the public's perception of tax compliance among high-earning celebrities.