Shakira accused of dodging $16.3m tax a month after she announced decision to build two schools
Colombian singer Shakira has been charged with tax evasion and owing around $16.3 million by Spanish prosecutors
Singer Shakira has been charged by Spanish prosecutors with tax evasion for allegedly owing an estimated $16.3 million. The 41-year-old Colombian singer supposedly failed to pay around $16.3 million between 2012 and 2014.
The charges state that Shakira had listed the Bahamas as her primary residence for tax purposes even though she lived in Barcelona with her partner Gerard Pique and their two young children — 5-year-old Milan and 3-year-old Sasha. However, a source close to Shakira shares that the singer is maintaining her innocence.
The insider added that Shakira believes the prosecutor is trying to use the case as a "smear campaign" and is targetting a successful artist. As reported by PEOPLE, the source shared that her team firmly believes that the investigation, as well as the charges, had been initiated in order to intimidate other taxpayers while using Shakira as the "scapegoat".
Shakira shared that she has already paid all the money she allegedly owes, according to the insider. The prosecutors claim that Shakira lived in Barcelona between 2012 and 2014 though Shakira says that she did not live in Spain for more than 183 days during that time. She officially declared herself a Spanish resident in 2015 when Sasha was born.
The Associated Press shared that a judge will eventually decide whether there is enough evidence to bring the singer's case to a trial. The investigation into the 'Waka Waka' singer's taxes had been opened in January.
The charges follow Shakira's decision to open two schools in Cartagena and Barranquilla, Colombia with her Pies Descalzos Foundation.
In a statement, she shared, "On behalf of Fundacion Pies Descalzos — to Costa Cruceros, the National Ministry of Education, the Mayor’s office of Barranquilla, the Mayor’s office of Cartagena, the Fundacion FC Barcelona, LCI Education Foundation and the Swiss Embassy in Colombia — thank you for participating in the construction of these two new schools that will take us one step further towards quality in Colombia and Latin America."
"Investing in education and offering equal opportunities to our boys and girls is the way to continue paving the way for peace," the statement continued.