In a court in Barcelona, a judge has ordered that Colombian music diva Shakira could face trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud of 14.5 million euros ($17 million).
The investigating magistrate stated in a judgment that there is “sufficient evidence” to bring a trial for Shakira’s suspected tax fraud in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Shakira spent more than 200 days in Spain in each of the three years, according to Judge Marco Jesus Juberias, making her responsible to pay taxes in the nation. According to Juberias, thus far in the inquiry, Spain’s tax department and Shakira’s attorneys have disagreed on the definition of “main residence.”
According to Spanish media sources, Shakira’s team contended that her primary residence was in the Bahamas. However, according to local media, she has a house in the Barcelona region with her long-term lover, FC Barcelona football defender Gerard Pique, with two children.
FC Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and Shakira pose with the trophy after FC Barcelona defeated Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey Final at Camp Nou on May 30, 2015, in Barcelona, Spain.
The judge in Esplugues de Llobregat noted that Shakira and a financial consultant, who was also named in the decision, utilized a succession of businesses in offshore tax havens to conceal her income sources during those years.
Reacting to the ruling, the singer’s representatives said: “This is an expected step in this process. The legal team maintains its trust and collaboration with the Justice and won’t offer any further comments on this matter.”
The judgment was issued on July 20, and the court ordered the parties in the case 10 business days to submit additional arguments, including grounds to dismiss the case.
According to the Spanish tax legislation, anybody who lives in Spain for at least six months and a day – or 183 days – in a given year is required to pay taxes in Spain, according to Beatriz Garcia, a tax expert in Madrid, on Thursday.