Pop star Shakira has been formally charged with tax evasion by Spanish prosecutors. She has been charged with failing to pay 6.7 million euros ($7.1 million) in tax on her 2018 income.
According to prosecutors, Shakira is alleged to have used an offshore company based in a tax haven to avoid paying standard Spanish taxes. Shakira currently lives in Miami, but she called Spain home for more than a decade prior to her separation from soccer player Gerard Pique. She is already due back in Barcelona to be tried on November 20 for a separate case that alleges she owes 14.5 million euros ($15.4 million) in back taxes from 2012-2014. No trial date has been set for her most recent tax evasion charge.
Shakira wouldn’t be the first celebrity with Spanish ties to be found guilty of tax evasion in recent years. Soccer stars Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo were both previously found guilty of tax evasion, but both avoided jail time due to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences of under two years in length for first-time offenders.
Avery Appelman Comments
This is a case dealing with extradition. Shakira is a Colombian national living in the United States with former residence in the Bahamas and Spain. She no longer resides in Spain, and it seems when and how long she lived there is an issue relevant to the tax prosecution.
There is probably no benefit to her to return to Spain to respond to these charges. She and Taylor Swift are arguably the most famous entertainers in the world. She will challenge extradition and most likely this case would continue for years with no resolution. Instead, Spain should offer her a one time option to make payment in full and receive a dismissal. Otherwise how are Spain and these local prosecutors thinking they can force her to respond and appear?
If I were her lawyer I would be negotiating now to make this go away before we stand up and fight through litigation. She has to worry about the publicity of this and how it may affect her continued pop star popularity, although it clearly seems that the public is able to move past a tax evasion conviction as we saw with Messi and Ronaldo. Musical bars are still more likely than jailhouse bars for Shakira, and we expect her legal team to help her achieve an optimal resolution, much like we strive to achieve for all of our clients.
For now, if you need legal help here in Minnesota, we hope you’ll reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.