Shakira shares her thoughts on her ongoing tax fraud case.
The singer faces a legal battle after being charged with tax evasion as prosecutors in Spain alleged that she failed to pay the Spanish government 14.5 million euros ($15 million) in taxes between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors also said that if she is convicted, they would ask a court to sentence her to eight years in prison.
Shakira opened up about the case in her Elle cover story and explained why she chose to reject a settlement agreement and challenge the allegations.
“Because I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations,” she said. “First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days a year at all. I was busy fulfilling my professional obligations around the world. Second, I paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe them zero.”
She continued, “And finally, I was advised by one of the top four tax specialists in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers, so I felt confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one.”
Shakira noted that, with no evidence to support the “fictitious claims”, Spanish tax authorities “have resorted to a lecherous press campaign to try and persuade people, and pressurize the media along with the threat of reputational damage to enforce settlement agreements.” to force.”
While at the center of her own legal battle, Shakira pointed out that other stars have faced the same battle as well. “It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities often do this not only with celebrities like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso, and many more), it also happens to the regular taxpayer unjustly. It’s just their style. But I am confident that I have enough evidence to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor.”
According to the Associated Press, prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged that the singer should have paid taxes in the country because she spent more than half of every year in Spain between 2012 and 2014. Shakira opposed the claims, explaining that during those years she was on a world tour and “spent more than 240 days outside of Spain, so there was no way I could qualify as a resident.” Because she was in a relationship with Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué at the time – they recently ended their 11-year relationship – she told Elle the Spanish tax authorities “started to drool” and “obviously they wanted to go after that money anyway.”
“Even over the next few years I traveled the world, working non-stop while pregnant or with Milan as a baby, when my cesarean section had just closed. They knew I wasn’t in Spain for the required time, that Spain wasn’t my job or my source of income, but they came after me anyway, with their eyes on the prize,” she continued, eventually saying going to court was “a matter of principle.”
A trial date has yet to be set.