Shakira insists allegations of £12m tax fraud against her are ‘false’

‘I have enough proof to support my case’: Shakira insists allegations of £12m tax fraud against her are ‘false’ and she believes ‘justice will prevail’ in her favour

Shakira has said the allegations of tax fraud made against her are ‘false’ and and she is ‘confident’ that ‘justice will prevail’.

The singer, 45, was warned she could be jailed for up to eight years if she is found guilty of an alleged £12million tax fraud.

Spanish prosecutors are also demanding a £19million fine for the star, who is charged with six counts of defrauding the state between 2012 and 2014.

Interview: Shakira has said the allegations of tax fraud made against her are 'false' and and she is 'confident' that 'justice will prevail'

Interview: Shakira has said the allegations of tax fraud made against her are ‘false’ and and she is ‘confident’ that ‘justice will prevail’

Shakira – full name Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll – is accused of pretending to live abroad and using a complex offshore corporate structure to avoid tax. 

She is accused of using the illegal arrangement from 2012 and 2014, when she was in a relationship with footballer Gerard Pique who lives and plays in Barcelona.

Speaking to Elle magazine, Shakira dismissed the allegations made against her and said she has paid back everything she was claimed to have owed. 

Asked why she is fighting the accusations, she said: ‘Because I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations. First of all, I didn’t spend 183 days per year at that time at all. 

Claims: The singer, 45, was warned she could be jailed for up to eight years if she is found guilty of an alleged £12million tax fraud

Claims: The singer, 45, was warned she could be jailed for up to eight years if she is found guilty of an alleged £12million tax fraud

‘I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world. Second, I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. 

‘So as of today, I owe zero to them. And finally, I was advised by one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers, so I was confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one.’

Shakira claimed that Spanish tax authorities often resort to ‘salacious’ campaigns against people in order to try and sway public opinion against them.

She said: ‘However, even without evidence to support these fictional claims, as they usually do, they’ve resorted to a salacious press campaign to try to sway people, and apply pressure in the media along with the threat of reputational damage in order to coerce settlement agreements. 

Allegations: Spanish prosecutors are also demanding a £19million fine for the star, who is charged with six counts of defrauding the state between 2012 and 2014

Allegations: Spanish prosecutors are also demanding a £19million fine for the star, who is charged with six counts of defrauding the state between 2012 and 2014

‘It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often not only with celebrities like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso, and many more), it also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer. 

‘It’s just their style. But I’m confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor.’ 

A spokesman for Shakira said: ‘Shakira has always cooperated and abided by the law, demonstrating impeccable conduct as an individual and a taxpayer, and faithfully following the counsel of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, a prestigious and globally recognized tax firm.

‘Unfortunately, the Spanish Tax Office, which loses one out of every two lawsuits with its taxpayers, continues to violate her rights and pursue yet another baseless case.

‘Shakira is confident that her innocence will be proven by the end of the judicial process.’

Speaking out: Shakira dismissed the allegations made against her and aid she has paid back everything she was claimed to have owed (pictured in May 2022)

Speaking out: Shakira dismissed the allegations made against her and aid she has paid back everything she was claimed to have owed (pictured in May 2022)  

Shakira, previously a tax resident in the Bahamas, only registered as a full tax resident in Spain in 2015.

Official residents in Spain pay Spanish taxes on their worldwide income.

People who spent more than 183 days in a given calendar year in Spain are considered Spanish residents for tax purposes.

Tax inspectors spent more than a year checking up on Shakira, even visiting her favourite hairdressers in Barcelona and checking her social media to try to show she spent most of the three years in dispute in Spain.

They concluded she had spent 242 days in Spain in 2012, 212 days in 2013 and 243 days in the country in 2014.

The report prosecutors submitted along with their criminal complaint alleged the time she spent out of Spain were ‘sporadic absences’ linked to work commitments.

A date for the trial has not yet been set with some analysts predicting an eleventh-hour deal could still be struck before Shakira is asked to take the stand.

Shakira told Elle: 'I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations'

Shakira told Elle: ‘I have to fight for what I believe; because these are false accusations’ 

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