In recent history, the Spanish authorities have made headlines when pursuing footballers for tax evasion. Some of the top stars who’ve amassed allegations are footballing talents like Javier Mascherano, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi.
In the week that ended, the Spanish government seems to be singing a different tune. Their latest pursuit of the spouse of Gerad Piqué, singing sensation Shakira. It would be remiss for us if we didn’t point out that Piqué himself happens to ply his trade as a footballer at FC Barcelona.
In their charge sheet, Spanish tax authorities believe that the pop star is guilty of defaulting on tax returns for the year 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll in Columbia 1977, Shakira rose to fame through her musical excursions. In her debut album, Magia, she managed to make a mark on the charts at the young age of 13. Her career then rapidly snowballed after that. In just a decades time, she managed to sell millions of albums which was followed by international fame.
Bone of Contention
During the 2010 edition of the FIFA World Cup, Shakira recorded the popular “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” tune which resonated widely with the masses. Incidentally, she became acquaintances with Piqué while filming a video for the song. A quick look at YouTube will show you that the song has garnered more than 2 billion views since it was released.
After a couple of years, the couple decided to make things official. As reported by news agencies world over, their first son was born 2013 Barcelona, Spain, at their residence.
Her current malaise comes as a result of the lack of clarity on where she really resides. Previously, Shakira was a resident of the tax-friendly nation, Bahamas, before she partnered up with the Spanish Piqué.
Spanish authorities believe that she continually filed tax returns under Bahamian citizenship until 2015. After that, they purport that she changed her official residency to Spain.
Therein lies the bone of contention. Spanish tax authorities believe that she was a resident of Spain, and not the Bahamas, between 2011 to 2014. Earlier on, Shakira cashed out about 20 million euros to clear her alleged tax debt. However, she never admitted to defaulting on tax payments.
Another famous person to have done the same in recent times is the footballing legend, Lionel Messi. After the Spanish tax authorities went after him on grounds of noncompliance, Messi mentioned that he made a “corrective payment” to the tune of 5 million Euros. As the case progressed, Messi was criminally charged and a conviction issued out because of tax evasion.
Following the latest developments, Spanish tax authorities are now compelling Shakira to fork out more than 14.5 million euros which they cite is the amount she owes in unpaid taxes.
Additionally, they’re currently pursuing to have her held criminally responsible for noncompliance in the years 2012 to 2014. The authorities insist that Shakira knowingly concealed her residency in those years in order to not make tax payments to Spain.
Spanish law stipulates that individuals who spend more than half a year in Spain are considered as Spanish tax residents. In light of this, such individuals are liable to pay tax on their worldwide income.
According to sources, investigators have allegedly been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Shakira was in the country for at least 183 days (half a year plus one day), in any of the years of 2012, 2013 or 2014.
Still, Spanish tax authorities maintain that Shakira’s absences in the 3 years were quite sporadic. More specifically, they cite that between 2012 and 2013, Shakira never set foot in the Bahamas.
Their investigation into the matter has been ongoing for more than a year now. Some of the leads the investigators followed to establish her true residency include people like her hairdresser.
At the same time, the Spanish tax authorities monitored her social media engagements on platforms like Instagram. The pop star has been known to love interacting with the masses and has a robust 55 million followers on Instagram.
With the matter still unresolved, the case is expected to progress to court where a judge is expected to give a verdict on whether to accept the criminal complaint forwarded by prosecutors. All through it all, Shakira has made a point of denying all allegations leveled against her. She’s even shared that Spanish prosecutors are only interested in using her as a “scapegoat.”