A Barcelona court has ordered Shakira to stand trial in regards to six alleged tax crimes, with prosecutors seeking a jail sentence and a €23.8m fine if found guilty. A date has not yet been set.
The 45-year-old has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and previously rejected a deal offered by prosecutors, preferring to take the case to trial.
“I am confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favour,” Shakira recently told the Spanish edition of Elle magazine.
The singer’s legal team said in a statement that they would do their job “by presenting [the] arguments at the appropriate time.”
At the centre of this dispute is residency status. Between 2012 and 2014, prosecutors alleged Shakira was living in Spain but listing her official residence elsewhere. Spanish law dictates that people who spend over six months a year in the country are considered tax-paying residents.
Prosecutors issued a document in July, claiming Shakira bought a house in Barcelona in 2012, alongside her then-partner, the Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué.
“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,” she told Elle.
Shakira claims Spain was not where she was mainly living at the time, and that up until 2014, most of her income came from international tours, meaning she spent the bulk of her time outside of the country. In 2015, Spain became her primary residence for tax purposes and she says she has paid €17.2m.
Yet whilst her hips don’t lie, Spanish prosecutors think her tax returns do.