Shakira reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors in the tax fraud case that alleged she failed to pay 14.5 million euros, or about $15.8 million, in income taxes between 2012 and 2014. The trial was scheduled to begin in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. but concluded with the musician receiving a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of 7 million euros.
“Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what is right and set a positive example for others. This often means taking the extra step in personal and business financial decisions to get the best lawyer,” Shakira wrote in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone. “Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the Spanish tax authorities initiated proceedings against me, as they have done against many professional athletes and other prominent individuals, draining these people of their energy, time and peace of mind for years.”
Shakira has stated in previous interviews regarding the allegations that Spanish tax authorities have also filed complaints against Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Xabi Alonso and others. Prosecutors charged the singer with six counts of tax fraud and asked for a prison sentence of eight years and a fine of more than 23 million euros. Spanish tax legislation stipulates that anyone who has lived in the country for more than six months is considered a resident and must pay taxes.
Shakira previously kept that she did not live in Spain full-time during the time specified by prosecutors, stating that she “did not spend 183 days a year” in the country because “I was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world”. She was offered a plea deal in 2022, but ultimately declined. Her board included PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited.
“Although I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, I made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interests of my children in mind, who do not want to see their mother sacrifice their well-being. -being personal in this fight”, continued Shakira. “I need to overcome the stress and emotional strain of the last few years and focus on the things I love – my children and all the opportunities that lie ahead in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about. I tremendously admire those who fought against these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is about taking back time for my children and my career.”
In September of this year, Shakira was accused for the second time of tax fraud in Spain, with this specific case alleging failure to pay taxes in 2018. Barcelona prosecutors accused the singer of using an offshore company in a tax haven as a means of avoiding pay the tax, which is said to amount to 6.7 million euros, or 7.1 million dollars.