Colombian pop star Shakira is set to stand trial in Spain for alleged tax evasion after a Spanish judge formally ordered the singer to stand trial on Tuesday. PA reported.
Driving the news: Prosecutors allege the singer failed to pay 14.5 million euros (about $13.9 million) in income taxes between 2012 and 2014.
The other side: Shakira denied all allegations of wrongdoing and rejected a proposed plea deal in July, after which prosecutors unsealed six tax evasion charges against her, according to the Post.
- Her publicists claimed in July that the singer had already repaid the amount she owed as well as 3 million euros in interest, PA reported.
State of play: The crux of the case hinges on whether or not Shakira resided in Spain during the period in question.
- Shakira claims her official tax residence was in the Bahamas until 2015, but prosecutors argue she spent more than 200 days of each of those years in Spain, making her eligible to pay taxes, since Spanish law states that people who spend more than 184 days a year in the country should pay taxes, according to the Post.
- The trial date has not yet been set.
What they say : Shakira addressed the allegations in a magazine profile published last week in which she said she had decided to fight the allegations “because I have to fight for what I believe in; because they are false accusations”.
- “I wasn’t spending 183 days a year at all at that time. I was busy fulfilling my work commitments around the world. Second, I paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they take legal action. So as of today, I don’t owe them anything,” she added.
The big picture: Spain has cracked down on public figures for alleged tax evasion in recent years, with football stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messiand Luka Modric all have paid fines and settlements in recent years after becoming entangled in tax ordeals.
- In the United States, American singer Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison in 2013 for failing to pay taxes on approximately $1.8 million in income between 2005 and 2007.
- In 2012, the IRS granted a tax lien to singer Lionel Richie for approximately $1.1 million in unpaid taxes since 2010.