Shakira charged with tax evasion for time spent in Spain with Gerard Pique
The Hips Don't Lie singer claims the authorities are using her "as a scapegoat" to scare other taxpayers.
After nearly a year of investigation, Shakira is officially charged with tax evasion in Spain for not paying more than 14.5 million euros (S$22.6 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014, according to Associated Press on Friday (Dec 13).
The point of contention was the Colombian singer's place of residence. While she reported that Bahamas was her official residence, she had spent more time in Spain during those years with partner Gerard Pique and their family. Their firstborn son Milan was born in Barcelona in 2013.
Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas than in Spain.
According to the Guardian, Shakira's lawyer said that at the time, the singer had lived in various places "throughout her professional career and, in every case, has fully met the laws of all the jurisdictions where she has resided".
Shakira has denied that she is a legal resident in Spain during those years in a statement released through her representatives, and claimed that the authorities are using her "as a scapegoat" to scare other taxpayers.
However, prosecutors in Barcelona said Shakira’s travel was for short periods, and for most of the year, she stayed in Spain.
According to Associated Press, prosecutors want the singer 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.