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Shakira is Running Out of Options to Avoid a Trial For Six Alleged Tax Offenses

Shakira is Running Out of Options to Avoid a Trial For Six Alleged Tax Offenses

Shakira is running out of options to avoid a trial for six alleged tax offenses. The Colombian singer claims that until 2015 her fiscal residence was in the Bahamas, and as such, she should not have had to pay Spanish income tax – known as IRPF. The prosecutor claims that the global superstar, whose real name is Isabel Mebarak, evaded €14.5 million in taxes by concealing her wealth via a network of companies based in tax havens. It is true that she traveled across the world during that period due to her work commitments, but these were “sporadic absences.” The Tax Agency claims that to all intents and purposes she was living in Barcelona.

When she appeared before the court for questioning back in 2019, Shakira stuck to the script prepared by her defense team and claimed that during those three years she was living in the Bahamas, where she had a property that she had shared with her previous partner Antonio de la Rúa. She defined herself at the time as a “nomad with no roots.” Her defense attorneys are sticking to this hypothesis despite the fact that it has been debunked by tax inspectors. There is not one piece of evidence to show that she spent a single day on the islands from 2012 onward. The real fight that Shakira is facing is elsewhere: over the timeline. The singer is seeking to contest the number of days that she lived in Spain. Such proof could include receipts for purchases, social media posts and the use of credit cards.

For Shakira, the problem lies in the fact that she has nothing to prove that she was in the Bahamas, not even a plane ticket

The defense is seeking to play all of its chips. The lawyers have insisted that a criminal trial is “not the appropriate place” to resolve these differences with the Tax Agency, because residency rules in Spain are “open, confusing and indeterminate.” The battle is over days, but also hours. The report is calling for the court not to include as whole days occasions when Shakira spent just a few hours in Spanish territory.

The judge overseeing the case in Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona) will have to decide whether to send it to trial. Shakira, who has already returned the amount she allegedly evaded paying, could end up facing having to publicly testify in court and could even face jail time – the prosecutor is accusing her of six tax offenses related to the non-payment of IRPF and wealth taxes for those three years.

Another route that the singer could explore is a deal with the prosecutor, under which she could accept the acts of the case and pay the corresponding fine in exchange for a greatly reduced sentence.

For now, the battle continues. Via a press release, her representatives have insisted that the process is still in the “pre-trial phase,” and have expressed their willingness to collaborate to resolve what they consider to be a mere “difference of criteria.”

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