Shakira in unique legal paradise
Singer, who was named in the so-called paradise papers, reportedly faces criminal tax fraud charges, but says her case is 'unique.'
The Spanish government prosecutor is due to file charges in the next few days for criminal tax offences against the singer known as Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. The 41-year-old Colombian singer has been the subject of a year-long assessing whether she lived in Spain between 2011 and 2014 or not.
The government claims she owes close to 14.5 million euros for the years in question, but the singer says she spent most of her time in the Bahamas rather than living with her partner Gerard Pique in Barcelona. They had lived together from 2011 onwards, and Shakira gave birth to her first son in a Barcelona hospital in 2013. Shakira says she never attempted to hide her income, allegedly calling it a matter of ‘a difference in criteria.’ She claimed her case is ‘unique to being a foreign citizen in Spain whose income comes almost entirely (96 per cent) from abroad. Her defence team explained in a statement, ‘Shakira has at all times fulfilled her tax obligations and owes no money to the Spanish Treasury.’
Shakira's name appeared in the "Paradise Papers" back in 2017, which detailed which celebrities and politicians had offshore financial dealings to avoid tax. Her defence team stated, ‘as soon as she was made aware of the amount that according to the tax agency she owed, as a gesture of good faith, she made the payment in full, and, therefore, there are currently no monies owed.’ She paid 20 million euros to the Spanish government in back taxes earlier this year, and in the past few days she has paid a further 14.5 million on account of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.