Shakira Discusses Tax Fraud Trial Openly: I’ve paid all the money they said I owed.
The musician denied being a resident of Spain when he was accused of avoiding taxes there between 2012 and 2014. She declared, “I have to stand up for what I believe.”
Shakira, who gained international recognition for songs like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever,” won three Grammys and appeared at the 2020 Super Bowl. She has been accused of multimillion dollar tax evasion in Spain for almost four years, a claim she vigorously denies.
The Colombian pop artist told Elle on Wednesday that the prosecution’s assertion that she met the residency requirement for paying taxes by spending 183 days in Spain year from 2012 to 2014 was false. After claiming the Bahamas as her domicile, she was charged and now faces up to eight years in prison.
She said to Elle, “I have to stand up for what I think since these are bogus charges. I didn’t spend 183 days a year at that time, to start with. I was occupied attending to my obligations as a professional all around the world. Second, even before they brought a case, I paid what they claimed I owed.
Shakira was first charged by Spanish authorities in December 2018 with failing to pay 14.5 million euros (then $16.3 million) in taxes. Judge Marco Juberas concluded that there was “sufficient evidence of wrongdoing” after a nearly three-year investigation and advised that her case proceed to trial.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which Shakira correctly referred to as “one of the four top tax specialist organisations in the world,” guided her during her tax files, the singer said to Elle. Because she “was certain that I was doing things appropriately,” she said she rejected a plea agreement and chose to go to trial instead.
She told Elle that “[Spanish tax officials] have] resorted to a lurid publicity campaign to try to persuade people, and apply pressure in the media combined with the danger of reputational damage in order to coerce settlement agreements, even without evidence to support these false charges.”
Shakira made her remarks during what she described as “the worst hour of my life,” which also included other issues including her acrimonious split from soccer player Gerard Piqué. She claimed that Piqué’s nationality had unintentionally made her legal struggles harder.
She admitted to Elle, “I went on a world tour while Gerard and I were dating. “There was no way I could have been considered a resident because I had spent more than 240 days outside of Spain. When the Spanish tax officials learned I was dating a Spanish citizen, they began to drool.
It’s obvious that they wanted to pursue that money no matter what, she continued. I continued to tour the world while working nonstop for the following few years. But they persisted in pursuing me.
The tax fraud case has no trial date yet, but the troubled singer has some famous friends who will cheer her up till then. Shakira seems to have no shortage of support, from rapper Will.i.am sending her prayers to Coldplay’s Chris Martin frequently checking in.