How Shakira Escaped Prison by Settling Tax Fraud Case with Spain

How Shakira Escaped Prison by Settling Tax Fraud Case with Spain
Shakira Pays Off Tax Fraud Case with Spain, Avoids Jail Time

Introduction

Shakira, the Colombian pop star, has settled a tax fraud case with Spanish authorities by paying a fine of €7.5 million ($8.3 million) and avoiding a prison sentence. She was accused of evading €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014 by claiming to live in the Bahamas while residing in Spain for most of the time. She denied the charges and said she followed the advice of a reputable tax firm and paid everything she owed before the lawsuit was filed.

The case has been one of the most high-profile tax scandals in Spain, involving one of the world’s most famous singers and her former partner, Gerard Piqué, a soccer player for Barcelona and Spain. Shakira, who has sold over 80 million records worldwide and won three Grammy Awards, faced the possibility of spending up to eight years and two months in jail and paying a fine of €23.7 million ($26 million) if she was found guilty.

However, on the eve of the trial, which was scheduled to start on Monday, November 20, 2023, Shakira reached an agreement with the authorities and admitted to two counts of tax fraud, while the other four counts were dropped. She agreed to pay a fine of €7.5 million ($8.3 million) and avoided a prison sentence and a criminal record, as the fine was less than €12,000 ($13,200) per count, which is the threshold for jail time in Spain for non-violent crimes.

Shakira’s lawyers said in a statement that the settlement was “a positive outcome” and that the singer was “happy to have put an end to this painful chapter in her life”. They also said that Shakira had always acted in good faith and that she hired PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, to handle her taxes. They claimed that the case was based on a “difference of criteria” and not a deliberate attempt to evade taxes.

The Spanish prosecutors, however, said that Shakira used a network of companies in tax havens to hide her income and that she lived in Barcelona with Piqué during the period in question. They said that she only moved to Spain officially in 2015, when she registered as a tax resident. They also said that they had evidence of her presence in Spain, such as her participation in the TV show The Voice, her visits to the dentist, and her children’s enrollment in a local school.

According to Spanish law, anyone who spends more than 183 days in a year in the country is considered a tax resident and must declare their worldwide income. The law also states that the burden of proof lies with the taxpayer, who must demonstrate that they have lived elsewhere. The prosecutors argued that Shakira failed to do so and that she owed €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes, plus interest and penalties.

Shakira is not the only celebrity who has faced tax evasion allegations in Spain. In recent years, several other famous figures, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Plácido Domingo, have been investigated or prosecuted for similar charges. Some of them have also reached settlements with the authorities, while others have been convicted and sentenced to jail, although they have not served any time due to the leniency of the Spanish system for non-violent crimes.

The case has raised questions about the fairness and transparency of the Spanish tax system and the treatment of high-profile taxpayers. Some critics have accused the authorities of being too soft on the rich and famous, while others have defended their right to privacy and legal protection. The case has also sparked a debate about the role of tax havens and the need for international cooperation to combat tax evasion.

Shakira Settles tax Fraud Case

Shakira Ends Tax Fraud Nightmare with Spain, Pays €7.5 Million Fine

Shakira, the Colombian pop star, has settled a tax fraud case with Spanish authorities by paying a fine of €7.5 million ($8.3 million) and avoiding a prison sentence. She was accused of evading €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014 by claiming to live in the Bahamas while residing in Spain for most of the time. She denied the charges and said she followed the advice of a reputable tax firm and paid everything she owed before the lawsuit was filed.

The case has been one of the most high-profile tax scandals in Spain, involving one of the world’s most famous singers and her former partner, Gerard Piqué, a soccer player for Barcelona and Spain. Shakira, who has sold over 80 million records worldwide and won three Grammy Awards, faced the possibility of spending up to eight years and two months in jail and paying a fine of €23.7 million ($26 million) if she was found guilty.

However, on the eve of the trial, which was scheduled to start on Monday, November 20, 2023, Shakira reached an agreement with the authorities and admitted to two counts of tax fraud, while the other four counts were dropped. She agreed to pay a fine of €7.5 million ($8.3 million) and avoided a prison sentence and a criminal record, as the fine was less than €12,000 ($13,200) per count, which is the threshold for jail time in Spain for non-violent crimes.

Shakira’s lawyers said in a statement that the settlement was “a positive outcome” and that the singer was “happy to have put an end to this painful chapter in her life”. They also said that Shakira had always acted in good faith and that she hired PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, to handle her taxes. They claimed that the case was based on a “difference of criteria” and not a deliberate attempt to evade taxes.

The Spanish prosecutors, however, said that Shakira used a network of companies in tax havens to hide her income and that she lived in Barcelona with Piqué during the period in question. They said that she only moved to Spain officially in 2015, when she registered as a tax resident. They also said that they had evidence of her presence in Spain, such as her participation in the TV show The Voice, her visits to the dentist, and her children’s enrollment in a local school.

According to Spanish law, anyone who spends more than 183 days in a year in the country is considered a tax resident and must declare their worldwide income. The law also states that the burden of proof lies with the taxpayer, who must demonstrate that they have lived elsewhere. The prosecutors argued that Shakira failed to do so and that she owed €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes, plus interest and penalties.

The case was based on the interpretation of Shakira’s personal and professional situation during the years 2012 to 2014, when she released her ninth studio album, Sale el Sol, and embarked on a world tour. She also became a coach on the US version of The Voice and gave birth to her first son, Milan, in 2013. The prosecutors claimed that these events showed that Shakira had strong ties with Spain and that she spent more than half of the year in the country.

The defense, on the other hand, maintained that Shakira was busy with her international career and that she traveled extensively around the world. They said that she had no fixed residence and that she only visited Spain occasionally to see Piqué, whom she started dating in 2010. They also said that she moved to Barcelona in 2015, after the end of her tour, and that she registered as a tax resident then. They said that she paid all the taxes she owed before the lawsuit was filed in 2018.

The settlement was reached after months of negotiations between Shakira’s lawyers and the authorities. It was approved by the judge on Monday, November 20, 2023, and Shakira did not have to appear in court. She accepted the fine and the admission of guilt as a way to end the legal dispute and to avoid further complications. She also expressed her gratitude to her fans and supporters for their loyalty and understanding.

Summary

Shakira Admits to Tax Fraud, Settles with Spain for €7.5 Million

Shakira, the Colombian pop star, has settled a tax fraud case with Spanish authorities by paying a fine of €7.5 million ($8.3 million) and avoiding a prison sentence. She was accused of evading €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014 by claiming to live in the Bahamas while residing in Spain for most of the time. She denied the charges and said she followed the advice of a reputable tax firm and paid everything she owed before the lawsuit was filed.

The case has been one of the most high-profile tax scandals in Spain, involving one of the world’s most famous singers and her former partner, Gerard Piqué, a soccer player for Barcelona and Spain. Shakira, who has sold over 80 million records worldwide and won three Grammy Awards, faced the possibility of spending up to eight years and two months in jail and paying a fine of €23.7 million ($26 million) if she was found guilty.

However, on the eve of the trial, which was scheduled to start on Monday, November 20, 2023, Shakira reached an agreement with the authorities and admitted to two counts of tax fraud, while the other four counts were dropped. She agreed to pay a fine of €7.5 million ($8.3 million) and avoided a prison sentence and a criminal record, as the fine was less than €12,000 ($13,200) per count, which is the threshold for jail time in Spain for non-violent crimes.

Shakira’s lawyers said in a statement that the settlement was “a positive outcome” and that the singer was “happy to have put an end to this painful chapter in her life”. They also said that Shakira had always acted in good faith and that she hired PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, to handle her taxes. They claimed that the case was based on a “difference of criteria” and not a deliberate attempt to evade taxes.

The Spanish prosecutors, however, said that Shakira used a network of companies in tax havens to hide her income and that she lived in Barcelona with Piqué during the period in question. They said that she only moved to Spain officially in 2015, when she registered as a tax resident. They also said that they had evidence of her presence in Spain, such as her participation in the TV show The Voice, her visits to the dentist, and her children’s enrollment in a local school.

According to Spanish law, anyone who spends more than 183 days in a year in the country is considered a tax resident and must declare their worldwide income. The law also states that the burden of proof lies with the taxpayer, who must demonstrate that they have lived elsewhere. The prosecutors argued that Shakira failed to do so and that she owed €14.5 million ($15.8 million) in taxes, plus interest and penalties.

The case was based on the interpretation of Shakira’s personal and professional situation during the years 2012 to 2014, when she released her ninth studio album, Sale el Sol, and embarked on a world tour. She also became a coach on the US version of The Voice and gave birth to her first son, Milan, in 2013. The prosecutors claimed that these events showed that Shakira had strong ties with Spain and that she spent more than half of the year in the country.

The defense, on the other hand, maintained that Shakira was busy with her international career and that she traveled extensively around the world. They said that she had no fixed residence and that she only visited Spain occasionally to see Piqué, whom she started dating in 2010. They also said that she moved to Barcelona in 2015, after the end of her tour, and that she registered as a tax resident then. They said that she paid all the taxes she owed before the lawsuit was filed in 2018.

The settlement was reached after months of negotiations between Shakira’s lawyers and the authorities. It was approved by the judge on Monday, November 20, 2023, and Shakira did not have to appear in court. She accepted the fine and the admission of guilt as a way to end the legal dispute and to avoid further complications. She also expressed her gratitude to her fans and supporters for their loyalty and understanding.

Shakira has settled a tax fraud case with Spain by paying a fine and avoiding jail time, after denying the charges for years and claiming to be innocent. She is one of several celebrities who have faced tax evasion allegations in Spain, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Plácido Domingo. The case has raised questions about the fairness and transparency of the Spanish tax system and the treatment of high-profile taxpayers.

Spain has been cracking down on tax evasion in recent years, as the country struggles with a high public debt and a low tax revenue. The authorities have targeted not only celebrities, but also politicians, businessmen, and professionals, who have been accused of hiding their income or assets in offshore accounts or shell companies. The government has also introduced new measures to prevent tax fraud, such as requiring taxpayers to disclose their foreign assets and imposing harsher penalties for non-compliance.

However, some critics have argued that the Spanish tax system is too complex and confusing, and that it creates loopholes and incentives for tax avoidance. They have also claimed that the authorities are selective and inconsistent in their enforcement, and that they often reach settlements with the wealthy and influential, while pursuing the ordinary and vulnerable. They have also questioned the effectiveness and fairness of the tax havens and the need for international cooperation to combat tax evasion.

The case of Shakira has highlighted the challenges and controversies of the Spanish tax system and the global phenomenon of tax evasion. It has also shown the impact and influence of celebrities on public opinion and social media, as well as the legal and ethical dilemmas they face. The case has also revealed the personal and professional life of one of the most successful and popular singers in the world, who has managed to overcome a legal ordeal and to continue her artistic career.

Written by Vikram

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