Saturday 17 August, 2019

Colombian pop star Shakira accused of tax evasion in Spain

Spanish prosecutors charged Shakira with tax evasion on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, alleging she failed to pay more than 14.5 million euros ($16.3 million) between 2012 and 2014. (AP Photo)

Spanish prosecutors charged Shakira with tax evasion on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, alleging she failed to pay more than 14.5 million euros ($16.3 million) between 2012 and 2014. (AP Photo)

Spanish prosecutors are charging pop music star Shakira with tax evasion, alleging she failed to pay more than 14.5 million euros ($16.3 million) between 2012 and 2014.

The charges published Friday allege Shakira listed the Bahamas as her official residence for tax purposes during those years but was, in fact, living in Spain with her partner, Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique.

Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas than in Spain.

Prosecutors in Barcelona say her travel abroad was for short periods because of professional commitments, while most of the year she stayed in Spain. They want her to pay tax in Spain on her worldwide income.

The Colombian singer officially moved to Spain for tax purposes in 2015, after having two children by Pique.

A magistrate will assess whether there is enough evidence to put Shakira on trial. Shakira's representatives said they had no immediate comment.

Prosecutors want Shakira to pay a bond of 19.4 million euros — the amount they say she owes in tax, plus 33 per cent, in accordance with Spanish law. Otherwise, they recommend a court freeze of her assets to that amount.

Shakira was named in the "Paradise Papers" leaks that detailed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals, including musical celebrities like Madonna and U2's Bono.

The documents were obtained by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and investigated by Spanish news website El Confidencial.

Spain's tax authorities referred their probe to the Barcelona prosecutor's office a year ago.

Sports celebrities have also been in trouble with Spanish tax authorities, including footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: