Shakira, the Colombian-born pop star, could be tried for alleged tax fraud of $17 million in Spain, ruled a judge in a court near Barcelona.
There is “sufficient evidence” to carry out a trial for Shakira’s alleged tax evasion for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, the investigating magistrate said in a ruling obtained by Citizen Free Press.
Judge Marco Jesus Juberias wrote that Shakira lived more than 200 days in Spain in each of those three years, making her responsible for paying taxes in Spain. Juberias said that in the investigation so far, Spain’s tax agency and Shakira’s lawyers have argued about the meaning of “principal residence”.
Spanish media reports said Shakira’s team argued that her primary residence was in the Bahamas. But local media also said that he has a home in the Barcelona area, with his longtime partner, FC Barcelona soccer defender Gerard Piqué, with whom he has two children.
The judge, in the Esplugues court, wrote that Shakira and a financial advisor, also mentioned in the ruling, used a series of companies in offshore tax havens to try to hide the sources of their income during those years.
In reaction to the ruling, the singer’s representatives told Citizen Free Press in a statement on Thursday: “This is an expected step in this process. The legal team maintains its trust and collaboration with Justice and will not offer further comment on this matter”.
The ruling was dated July 20, and the judge gave the parties in the case 10 business days to present additional arguments, including to argue and archive the case.
The Spanish tax code says that anyone who resides in Spain for at least six months and one day (or 183 days) in a given year is responsible for paying taxes in Spain, Madrid tax consultant Beatriz García told Citizen Free Press on Thursday.
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