These hips don’t lie, but according to the Spanish tax agency, Shakira’s tax return did. The question now is whether she will end up in jail.
The Colombian-born, 45-year-old superstar is accused of failing to pay taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, prompting prosecutors on July 29 to seek eight years in prison and a multimillion-euro fine. Weekly newspaper previously reported. Gerard Piqué has been Shakira’s partner for more than a decade and the father of her two children – whom she announced in June – playing football for FC Barcelona.
Spanish authorities say Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, owes 14.5 million euros ($14.7 million) in taxes. The star has denied the charges and rejected a plea deal, saying she had legal residency in the tax-exempt Bahamas for the period in question.
Isaac Abad, a tax lawyer at Abad & Associates Lawyers and Accountants in Spain, said the Bahamas’ status as a tax haven doesn’t matter.Under the 183-day rule, a person who spends 183 days or more in a country owes that country a global tax: “It’s easy or complicated,” Abad told Weekly newspaper. “The case is as easy or difficult as the evidence.”
Complicating matters for someone like Shakira, Abad said, was the dominance of social media content and photos, which could help prosecutors establish a timeline of her coming and going. “One of the things that’s not so good for Shakira is the use of social networks because [tax agency’s] The inspectors have been investigating…on the Internet, they are finding out what she is doing every day and most of her time in Spain. “
Abad added that Spain’s tax office and prosecutors are particularly active on such issues because the nearby country of Andorra is itself a tax haven.
“Prosecutors in Spain are experts in this,” he said, “because there are a lot of people from Catalonia who say they live in Andorra to avoid Spanish taxes… [Prosecutors] Are taking this seriously because they are used to it. “
So the big question is, is one of the biggest stars in the world really going to go to jail?
“In my opinion, even in the worst-case scenario, there are some grey areas,” Abad said. “It’s hard to say if Shakira is here. I could be in Argentina and have my waiter in Barcelona buy me a watch.” Credit card records are difficult to decipher that way, Abad said.
He also said that this is not uncommon for stars: “They are not tax professionals, they put their trust and confidence in someone and are guided by them.” He cited Argentine footballer Lionel The case of Lionel Messi, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2016, reportedly claimed to know nothing about how his finances were handled.
As for Shakira’s fate, according to Abad, “in my experience, it’s just a question of money.” He pointed to Cristiano Ronaldo, who has previously faced similar charges. “In Madrid, Ronaldo pleaded guilty on the first day of his court appearance,” Abad said. “He was sentenced to two years and then he didn’t have to go to jail; he [just] Everything must be given. “
Still, it’s not unheard of for celebrities to end up in jail. Spanish singer Isabel Pantoya, who is serving two years in prison for money laundering, said: “I think what prosecutors are looking for are pictures. They love pictures of the celebrity going to court sadly. The prosecutors were very aggressive with them.”
In the end, despite Shakira’s initial refusal to plead guilty, Abad hopes the matter will be resolved out of court. “We’ll see what happens, but I’m sure they’ll get a deal,” he said. “At this stage, the only thing the judge said was to investigate her. The judge didn’t say if she had committed a crime, just that there was enough evidence to investigate.”
Weekly newspaper Contact Shakira’s representative for comment.