Celebrity

WTF Is Going On With Shakira's Alleged Tax Evasion? Everything We Know So Far

The case is now going to trial.

By Jess Pullar
Shakira's hips don't lie, but Spanish authorities are claiming her tax statements do as the Columbian singer's tax evasion case moves to trial.
In September, a judge ordered Shakira to stand trial in Spain over charges claiming she has failed to pay millions in income taxes. It comes after a string of high-profile celebrities were also pinged for alleged tax evasion, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The crackdown has unsurprisingly shocked fans, but Shakira is maintaining that she already paid everything that she owed to the Spanish tax office. Curious about how it all went down? Below we trace the case from its beginning.

How did Shakira's alleged tax evasion case start?

Prosecutors claim that in 2012, Shakira purchased a home in Barcelona which became a family residence with her two children and her then-partner, Gerard Piqué, who is a Spanish citizen.
Three years later (2015), Shakira declared Spain to be her place of residence for tax purposes. She said she paid €17.2 million (approx. AUD $25.68 million) as a tax resident, which she claims is the full amount she owed.
So what happened in those three years between buying the house in Spain and becoming a tax resident? Shakira's lawyers say that up until 2014, most of the Columbian singer's income came from international tours, and she spent large chunks of time away from Spain. The singer's official place of residence was listed in The Bahamas at the time, per AP.
To be considered a tax resident in Spain, a person must have spent at least six months a year in the country.

What has Shakira actually been accused of?

In 2018, the Spanish government accused Shakira of failing to pay €14.5 million (around AUD $21 million) in taxes on the income she earned between 2012 and 2014.
The penalty for this could result in an eight-year prison sentence, as well as a hefty fine if she is found guilty.
Shakira and former partner Gerard Piqué split in 2022. Getty

What has Shakira plead in her tax evasion case?

The 45-year-old has maintained her innocence, and claimed to ELLE US in September: "The Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It's clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what."
"I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations," she claimed in the interview.
"Firstly, I didn't spend 183 days per year at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world. Second, I've paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them."
In May, Shakira lost an appeal which would have avoided a trial. In June, she rejected a settlement deal from prosecutors. Now, a Spanish judge has approved the case to go to trial.
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  • undefined: Jessica Pullar