Shakira will appear in Spanish court over alleged €14.5m tax fraud

Colombian pop star Shakira has been summoned to appear in a Barcelona court following allegations that she illegally avoided €14.5 million in taxes.

Spanish media reports claim the singer and philanthropist has been accused of tax evasion since December of last year.

Prosecutors argue that she falsely claimed to live in the Bahamas when she lived in Catalonia, and is due in court on June 12 over the claims.

In Spain, only trials are public, therefore her hearing will take place privately behind closed doors.

Spanish state prosecutors accused the mother-of-two of fraud last year, claiming she had pretended to live abroad and use an existing complex offshore corporate structure to prevent herself meeting tax obligations between 2012 and 2014.

She began dating former Manchester United defender Pique in 2011 and moved back to Barcelona, so should supposedly have paid taxes on her worldwide earnings to Spanish tax services.

Shakira was previously a tax resident in the Bahamas but only registered in 2015 as a full tax resident. Those who spend over 183 days in a given calendar year in the country are obliged to pay tax as Spanish residents.

Tax inspectors have been following Shakira’s finances for years, and she appeared in an investigation carried out by the Guardian in 2017 on offshore corporate finance. The Paradise Papers was carried out by other news organisations alongside the Guardian.

Despite paying the €14.5 million debt settlement, she hasn’t been able to stop the case from going to court. Her lawyer insisted she had always fulfilled her tax obligations in accordance with the advice of her financial advisors in every country.

Feature image; Instagram/@shakira