Spanish Prosecutors Want $16M From Shakira

They say she lied about living in the Bahamas in tax evasion scheme
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 14, 2018 11:43 AM CST
Shakira Faces $16M Bill for Alleged Tax Evasion
Shakira performs in concert at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 10, 2018.   (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Her "Hips Don't Lie," but her lips might. Spanish prosecutors are charging pop music star Shakira with tax evasion, alleging she failed to pay more than $16.3 million in tax on her worldwide income between 2012 and 2014, reports the AP. The charges published Friday allege Shakira listed the Bahamas as her official residence for tax purposes during those years but was in fact living in Spain with her partner, Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique. Prosecutors in Barcelona say her travel abroad was for short periods because of professional commitments, while most of the year she stayed in Spain, where tax rates are much higher than in the Bahamas. The Colombian singer moved to Spain in 2015, after having two children by Pique.

A magistrate will assess whether there is enough evidence to put Shakira on trial. Shakira's representatives said they had no immediate comment. Prosecutors want Shakira to pay a bond of $21.9 million—the amount they say she owes in tax, plus 33%, in accordance with Spanish law. Otherwise, they recommend a court freeze of her assets to that amount. Shakira was named in the "Paradise Papers" leaks that detailed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals, including musical celebrities like Madonna and U2's Bono. Spain's tax authorities referred their probe to the Barcelona prosecutor's office a year ago. (Shakira reportedly owns an island north of the Bahamas.)

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