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Shakira’s Tax Saga: Last-Minute Resolution in Spanish Tax Evasion Case

Twist in Shakira’s Tax Evasion Case

The hearing for Shakira‘s tax evasion case was set to begin in Barcelona against the backdrop of the allegations of tax theft. However, a twist occurred when it was announced that she had reached an agreement to resolve the long-standing legal dispute. Initially, she faced eight years of imprisonment and a fine of 24 million euros for tax evasion allegations in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Born in Colombia in 1977, Shakira’s complete name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. Her debut album, “Magia,” achieved success on charts in 1990 when she was just 13 years old. Within a decade, she sold millions of albums and became a household name.

Shakira’s Chart Success and World Cup Anthems

In 2010, Shakira recorded the official song “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The collaboration for the song happened with FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué (who retired from FC Barcelona in 2022) when they met during the production of the music video.

Before that, the singer, often dubbed as a pop star equivalent in football, performed at the closing ceremony of the 2006 World Cup in Germany with her hit song “Hips Don’t Lie.” Later, she gained prominence in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup anthem “La La La (Brazil)”—a fun fact: Piqué also appeared in the music video.

Shakira’s Barcelona Family: Births, Residency, and Tax Issues

A little later, the couple officially became an item. Shakira gave birth to their first son, Milan, in Barcelona in 2013. News agencies reported the birth, stating, “Born in Barcelona, Spain, where Shakira and football star Gerard Piqué are currently residing.” Two years later, Piqué and she announced the birth of their second son, Sasha.

Most of the upbringing of their children took place in Barcelona, as Shakira confessed in a 2022 Instagram post, saying, “I established myself in Barcelona to provide stability for my children, the same stability we are now seeking in another corner of the world with family, friends, and the sea.”

Shakira’s residency was particularly contentious in her tax matters. Initially, she was a tax resident in the Bahamas. According to Spanish authorities, she claimed Bahamian residency for tax purposes until 2015 when she changed her official residence to Spain. Due to the difference in residency for tax purposes, authorities accused Shakira of failing to pay more than 14.5 million euros (15.8 million USD) in income tax between 2012 and 2014.

Shakira’s Tax Dispute: Residency and Social Media Scrutiny

However, Spanish tax authorities argue that she was not a resident in the Bahamas but in Spain from 2011 to 2014. In response, Shakira made a partial payment of over 20 million euros (21,891,300 USD) to settle her clear tax debt, without admitting guilt. If this sounds familiar, Lionel Messi did something similar, referring to it as a “corrective payment” in 2013.

Shakira Settles Tax Evasion Suit with Spanish Authorities
Shakira Settles Tax Evasion Suit with Spanish Authorities

Under Spanish law, if an individual spends at least half of a year and one day in Spain, they are considered a tax resident, and worldwide income is subject to Spanish tax. It cannot definitively be proven with certainty that she stayed in the country for at least 183 days in 2012, 2013, or 2014. However, tax authorities claim that her presence during those years was minimal, and she had “no presence. Spending at least a day in the Bahamas.”

As part of efforts to establish residency, tax inspectors also tracked places where the singer frequently visited, such as her hairdresser. They even scrutinized Shakira’s activity on social networks like Instagram, where she has over 90 million followers.

Shakira’s Tax Settlement: Legal Closure for Family’s Sake

Shakira has refuted these allegations through her representatives. However, now the singer says she has reached an agreement with relief and signed a deal with prosecutors. According to the Associated Press, the hearing, which was expected to include testimony from more than 100 witnesses, ended after just eight minutes.

As a result of the agreement, Shakira will face a suspended sentence of three years and will have to pay a penalty of 7.3 million euros ($8 million), including unpaid taxes and interest. She will also pay an additional fine of 432,000 euros ($472,000) to settle her tax liabilities. Her legal record will also reflect her as a convicted tax offender.

In a released statement, she said, “I have finally decided to resolve this matter with the best interests of my children in mind, who I do not want to see their mother sacrificed for her personal well-being in this fight.” She added, “I need to move on from the stress and emotional toll of the past several years and focus on things I love—my children and the opportunities that lie ahead in my career.”

She accompanied her statement with a message on Instagram, saying, “A she-wolf like me always chooses family,” emphasizing the importance of family.

Representatives have not immediately responded to requests for further comments from her representatives.

Shakira Faces New Tax Allegations

Shakira still has another battle to fight, as new allegations of tax evasion related to her 2018 income have surfaced. In this case, Spanish authorities claim she used an offshore holding company to avoid a payment of $7.1 million in Spanish taxes.

Shakira remains connected to Piqué amid these controversies. After the rumors, the couple has taken separate paths, and she has even responded to the allegations with a diss track. In the musical composition titled “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” released earlier this year, she includes lyrics like, “I’m worth two 22s” and “You did a Rolex deal for a Casio.”

The video, released at the beginning of the year, has been viewed over 648 million times. Last week, the song was included in a pair of Latin Grammy Awards, where she accepted an award with Piqué’s former football rival and Spanish national team mate Sergio Ramos, who was with Real Madrid at the time (now with FC Sevilla).

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