After publicly denying that she failed to pay taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014, Shakira will officially face charges in court in the tax fraud case against her, NBC News confirmed. A judge in Spain approved a trial against Shakira on Sept. 27. In 2018, the singer was accused of failing to pay nearly $14 million in taxes. Prosecutors are asking for an 8-year prison sentence and a fine if Shakira is found guilty in this case. A date for the trial has not been confirmed yet.
Shakira previously rejected a plea deal that would have allowed her to avoid going to trial. She has continued to maintain her innocence in the wake of the charges against her. Prosecutors are alleging that Shakira spent more than half of her time in 2012-2014 in Spain, which is why they believe she should have paid taxes there. Although Shakira’s residence was in the Bahamas during that time, she was romantically involved with Gerard Pique, who resided in Spain.
Shakira recently opened up about her decision to go to trial and fight the charges against her. “These are false accusations,” she insisted in an interview with Elle. “First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days per year at that time at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world. Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them.”
The 45-year-old also said that prosecutors have tried to sway the public by beginning a “salacious press campaign” against her. “It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often, not only with celebrities like me, or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar Alonso, and many more, it also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer,” she accused. “It’s just their style. But I’m confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor.”
Shakira said that the Spanish tax authorities were trying to go after her money “no matter what” in the case against her. “They knew I wasn’t in Spain the required time [to have to pay taxes], that Spain wasn’t my place of work or my source of income,” she insisted. “But they still came after me with their eyes on the prize.”