Shakira is involved in a legal struggle after being accused of tax fraud. She addressed the matter and called the accusations of tax fraud "false." Before releasing her debut album in five years, the international artist opened up about the allegations in great detail for the first time in a recent interview.
Entertainment Weekly claims that Shakira turned down a settlement proposal, causing the tax fraud case to go to trial. The singer claims she was not residing in Spain between 2012 and 2014 when she was allegedly accused of not paying $15 million in taxes.
Shakira bought a property in Barcelona in 2012, and court records obtained by Reuters reveal that she lived there throughout that time. (The Bahamas were designated as her official residence.) If she is found guilty, she will face prison time as well as a $24 million fine.
The pop artist recently spoke with Elle magazine and called the Spanish government's allegations "false accusations," adding that she intends to fight the case out of "principle." According to the report, Shakira claims she did not spend the required 183 days in the country for tax purposes because she was "busy fulfilling my professional commitments all over the world" and stated, "as of today, I owe [Spanish government] nothing."
"I've paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So as of today, I owe zero to them. And finally, I was advised by one of the four biggest tax specialist firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers, so I was confident that I was doing things correctly and transparently from day one", she said. "However, even without evidence to support these fictional claims, as they usually do, they've resorted to a salacious press campaign to try to sway people and apply pressure in the media along with the threat of reputational damage in order to coerce settlement agreements", she continued.
"It is well known that the Spanish tax authorities do this often not only with celebrities like me (or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, [Xabi] Alonso, and many more), it also happens unjustly to the regular taxpayer. It's just their style. But I'm confident that I have enough proof to support my case and that justice will prevail in my favor." A trial date has not yet been determined.