Shakira charged with tax evasion in Spain

Prosecutors in Spain have filed tax evasion charges against pop superstar Shakira.
The Hips Don’t Lie hitmaker has been accused of failing to hand over more than 14.5 million Euros, amounting to $16.3 million (£13 million), to the nation’s tax officials between 2012 and 2014.
According to legal documents published on Friday (14Dec18), Shakira’s accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers listed her Bahamas home as the Colombian native’s official residence during that period, even though Spanish authorities claim she was actually living in Barcelona with her soccer star beau, Gerard Pique, the father of her sons Milan, five, and Sasha, three.

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Prosecutors argue that Shakira’s stints abroad were only for professional commitments for short periods of time, and as such, they are demanding she pay tax in Spain on her global income.
The musician’s defence team insists she was out of the country for the majority of time from 2012 to 2014, with the bulk of her income earned abroad.
Shakira only registered as a resident of the European country on tax forms in 2015.
Authorities are now demanding Shakira be ordered to pay a bond of 19.4 million Euros ($21.9 million/£17.4 million) to cover the amount she allegedly owes in taxes, plus the legal requirement of an additional 33 per cent.

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If the magistrate overseeing the case declines the bond request, they want to freeze that amount in assets, according to The Associated Press. The court official will also decide if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
Representatives for Shakira have yet to comment on the charges, which were filed days after reports about the impending action first surfaced in the media.
At the time, her spokesperson issued a statement to Billboard.com, insisting the singer has done nothing wrong.

“Shakira has at all times fulfilled her tax obligations and owes no money to the Spanish Treasury,” the rep declared. “As soon as she was made aware of the amount that according to the Tax Agency she owed, as a gesture of good faith, she made the payment in full, and, therefore, there are currently no monies owed.”
She is the latest Spanish-based celebrity to face tax charges following similar investigations into the finances of her boyfriend’s FC Barcelona teammate, Lionel Messi, and soccer stud Cristiano Ronaldo.

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