Colombian pop sensation Shakira has reached an agreement with Spanish prosecutors to settle a tax fraud case just before her trial was set to commence. The singer has paid a €7.5m (£6.5m) fine, averting the potential eight-year jail sentence and a €23.8m (£20.8m) fine that prosecutors had sought if she were found guilty.
The tax fraud allegations amounted to €14.5m (£12.7m) and were slated for trial in a Barcelona court. Shakira, who consistently denied any wrongdoing, emphasised that she settled “with the best interest of my kids at heart.”
In a comprehensive statement, the pop icon stated that her decision was influenced by her children, who did not wish to witness their mother endure personal sacrifices in the legal battle. Having rejected a previous settlement offer from prosecutors, Shakira had initially chosen to go to trial.
The case centred on the residency status of Shakira between 2012 and 2014, with prosecutors contending that she was residing in Spain but officially listing her residence elsewhere. Under Spanish law, spending more than six months in the country qualifies individuals as residents for tax purposes. Shakira argued that Spain was not her primary residence during that period.
Shakira addressed the tax authorities’ pursuit of the case, stating, “While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight.”
The pop star, who declared Spain as her tax residence in 2015, emphasised that she has paid €17.2m (£15m) in taxes and has no outstanding debts. The case adds to the scrutiny faced by high-profile individuals over residency and tax-related matters, with Shakira’s former partner, Gerard Piqué, fined €2.1m (£1.8m) in a separate case in 2019 for evading tax between 2008 and 2010. The couple, who announced their separation in June after 11 years, share two sons aged seven and nine.