Shakira Could Face Prison After Police Enquiry
Shakira could be facing jail after being accused of tax evasion.
The 40-year-old Columbian singer is being investigated by the Spanish tax authorities, who’ve put out a request for prosecutors to look into her financial affairs over the four years between 2011 and 2014.
They allege Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, could have evaded paying the proper taxes.
Spain’s Tax Agency has argued Shakira was living in Spain during the period between 2011 and 2014 and therefore should have paid income tax on her worldwide earnings and not just earnings obtained in Spain.
According to Catalan daily newspaper, La Vanguardia, state prosecution chiefs will now have to determine whether they agree with the Tax Agency.
If so, formal legal proceedings will be launched against Shakira and the tax bill amounts to tens of millions of euros.
Sources close to Shakira, who became a full tax resident in Spain in 2015, told La Vanguardia she had always met her tax obligations.
They added the singer and voiceover star was willing and ready to abide by the ‘economic consequences’ of what they considered could be simple differences in ‘evaluation criteria’.
They also denied, on her behalf, any deliberate attempt to evade taxes.
The multi-lingual singer, who shot to fame back in 2001 with her English language album, Laundry Service, is also well known for her philanthropic work having founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation.
The Colombian charity builds special schools for poor children all around Colombia, while Shakira’s own personal fortune is reckoned to be more than $200m (£176m).
She recently lent her vocal stylings to award-winning animation, Zootropolis:
Shakira separated from Antonio de la Rua, the son of a former Argentinian president, in August 2010 before starting a relationship with Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique in 2011.
They have two children; Milan, who turned five on Monday and Sasha, who will turn four at the end of January.
Shakira’s auditors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, confirmed the tax investigation.
The singer’s tax advisors are expected to insist she was in Spain less than 183 days for the years in question – and so was not required to pay wealth tax on her worldwide assets, as well as her earnings in Spain.
Shakira was named in the recent Paradise Papers scandal after it was revealed late last year she transferred £30million in musical rights to an offshore firm in Malta.
In recent years Spain has seen several high-profile court cases involving football stars accused of tax-dodging.
Last May a 21-month jail term was handed down to Barcelona and Argentina footballer, Lionel Messi.
However, Spanish law allows terms of under two years to be treated as probation and Messi is still playing.
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