Colombian singer Shakira is facing new allegations of tax fraud in Spain. The Barranquillera, who already has a pending trial for evading taxes totaling €14.5 million between 2012 and 2014, now faces new accusations of defrauding €6.6 million from the Spanish tax authorities in 2018.
The first trial, for which Shakira could face a request of up to 8 years in prison and a €23.7 million fine, is set to begin in November in Barcelona. Independent of this trial, it was revealed today that the Spanish tax authorities have expanded the charges to the fiscal year 2018 when the Colombian singer was living with her partner, former footballer Gerard Piqué, and their children in Spain.
Tax Havens for Tax Evasion
Shakira is now accused of a new criminal offense: tax evasion to the tune of €6.6 million during the fiscal year 2018. According to the Spanish tax agency, the singer allegedly used tax havens abroad to hide profits and declare less income to the tax authorities. Although the artist now resides in Miami, the accusation dates back 5 years when she had fiscal residence in Spain, regardless of where she earned income from rights or concerts.
The accusation is based on both the Personal Income Tax (IRPF) and Wealth Tax (IP). In both cases Shakira is accused of providing false figures to pay less than what was owed.
The accusation mentions a company based in Luxembourg, a country that, despite belonging to the European Union, is used by the wealthy to pay lower taxes due to its favorable tax conditions. The country is classified as the sixth-largest tax haven in the world, according to the Tax Justice Network, an organization focused on investigating tax evasion.
Additionally, the singer is accused of using companies in Spain, the Netherlands, the Virgin Islands, Panama, and Malta to avoid paying the taxes owed in Spain, where she resided and thus had fiscal domicile.
Undeclared Profits from the “El Dorado” Tour
The new case is related to the profits Shakira earned during her “El Dorado” tour, for which she received an income of $12.5 million, according to Spanish authorities. This was the sixth world tour for the Barranquillera, with a total of 54 concerts held in Europe, Asia, North America, and Latin America. The tour began on June 3, 2018, in Hamburg (Germany) and concluded on November 3 of the same year in Bogota (Colombia).
Shakira “failed to declare income exceeding €2.5 million, which was routed through two intermediary companies, GGT and AC; deducted duplicate expenses totaling more than €3 million; deducted expenses for the amortization of her own music rights exceeding €3 million; and deducted personal expenses and unjustified expenses exceeding €500,000,” according to the Spanish prosecuting authority, which requested that the artist testify via videoconference from Miami.
New Allegations by the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office
The Spanish prosecutor’s office states that the artist, “motivated by the desire not to pay taxes on her full income and to avoid paying what was due to the State Treasury, knowingly and voluntarily filed false tax returns for the IRPF and IP for the year 2018, failing to declare income and deducting expenses that were not justified, thereby reducing the amount to be paid to the State Tax Agency (AEAT) for IRPF and the Catalonia Tax Agency (ATC) for IP, due to the legal limit between the amounts of both taxes.”
Shakira’s representatives in the United States state that she has not yet received any notification from the Spanish authorities regarding these second accusations. The Colombian artist’s legal advisors are currently focused on her defense for the first trial, which is set to begin on November 20th in Barcelona.
In this initial hearing, the Barranquillera will be accused of defrauding €12.3 million in IRPF tax and another €2.19 million in Wealth Tax, all over three fiscal years from 2012 to 2014.