In a surprising turn of events, international pop sensation Shakira has reached a legal settlement with Spanish authorities, putting an end to the looming tax fraud trial in Barcelona. The singer, who was facing serious allegations of tax evasion, declared her decision to resolve the matter on the very day the trial was scheduled to commence.
Shakira, speaking to Variety, expressed her commitment to ethical financial decisions throughout her career. Despite seeking guidance from renowned financial advisors like PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited, she found herself entangled in a legal battle initiated by Spanish tax authorities, a plight she shares with many high-profile individuals and professional athletes.
The acclaimed artist, known for her determination, initially aimed to defend her innocence vigorously. However, considering the toll the legal proceedings took on her energy, time, and peace of mind, Shakira made the heartfelt decision to prioritize her children’s well-being over a prolonged legal fight. She emphasized the need to overcome the stress of recent years and redirect her focus to what she loves most: her children and promising career prospects, including an upcoming global tour and a highly anticipated new album.
The resolution comes as a relief for Shakira, sparing her from the potential eight-year prison sentence and hefty fines sought by prosecutors. Instead, she will serve a three-year suspended sentence and pay a fine of 7.3 million euros, with an additional 432,000 euros, in exchange for the suspended sentence.
The tax evasion allegations stemmed from Shakira’s purported failure to pay over 14.5 million euros in taxes to the Spanish government between 2012 and 2014. Her official residence in the Bahamas, a low-tax jurisdiction, drew attention, especially after her name appeared in the notorious “Paradise Papers” leak in 2017, uncovering offshore tax arrangements involving various public figures.
Shakira’s defense team countered the allegations in November 2022, claiming she spent less than 60 days a year in Spain during the contested period. Her public relations firm asserted that not only did she settle the initial tax debt, but she also paid an additional 3 million euros in interest.
In a statement relayed through her PR firm and reported by The Associated Press, Shakira conveyed her decision to settle, putting her children’s best interests at the forefront. The artist aims to reclaim her time, focusing on her family and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in her career.
As the legal chapter concludes, Shakira remains under investigation for a separate case, where Spanish state prosecutors allege she evaded 6.7 million euros in taxes on her 2018 income, involving an offshore company in a tax haven. The international music icon continues to navigate the complexities of legal scrutiny, determined to strike a balance between her personal life and the demands of her illustrious career.