Shakira faces eight years in prison after rejecting plea deal over tax fraud charge

Shakira faces eight years in prison after rejecting plea deal over tax fraud charge

Shakira at a red carpet event at The Sayers Club for the NBC series The Voice. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Byron Purvis/AdMedia

Colombian superstar Shakira rejected a settlement offer and will face the Spanish government in court over a tax fraud case.

If found guilty, Shakira will face up to eight years behind bars and a fine of over $23.5 million.

The Hips Don’t Lie singer has been embroiled in financial controversy for some years.

In 2017, Shakira was named in the leaked Paradise Papers scandal in which she was accused of transferring musical assets worth about $30 million.

This led to an investigation by the Spanish government into her finances.

The latest development in the tax case comes shortly after Shakira and her estranged partner, Gerard Pique, announced they were separating after 11 years.

Shakira is confident in her innocence over tax fraud charges

The singer is accused of failing to pay taxes of about $4,6 million between 2012 and 2014, a period in which Shakira says she was not a resident of Spain.

According to Reuters, the Spanish prosecutors allege that Shakira was a resident in Spain during the period in which she did not pay taxes.

In the documents seen by the publication, prosecutors claim that in May 2012, she bought a house in Barcelona which she shared with her then-partner football star Pique.

She reportedly gave birth to their first son together on January 22, 2013, in Barcelona.

No date for a trial has been set, but the prosecutors are asking for an eight-year sentence.

A rep for Shakira referred to a previous statement released earlier this week which says the Colombian singer was “fully confident of her innocence” and that she considered the case “a total violation of her rights.”

The terms of the settlement offer, which she rejected, have not been revealed to the public.

Shakira’s case hinges on whether she was a tax resident in Spain

The mother of two said she has paid €17.2 million ($17.6 million) in taxes and denies owing anymore.

According to Sky News, the singer reportedly paid €3 million (3.6 million) in interest.

Shakira maintains that she was not a resident because she was working internationally touring. Still, prosecutors have alleged that she spent more than half of each year between 2012 and 2014 in Spain, which would make her a legal tax resident.

A publicist for the singer said in a statement on Friday that Shakira “has always co-operated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer.”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, individuals are resident in Spain for tax purposes if they spend more than 183 days in Spain during a calendar year.


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