Spanish tax authorities filed new charges against music superstar Shakira on Tuesday for allegedly failing to pay over $7 million (approx. Ksh 1 billion) in taxes in just one year.
This is the second time the country has accused the global pop star of committing income and wealth tax fraud.
Affectionately known as the ‘Queen of Latin Pop’ , Shakira has opted to go to trial in November in Barcelona in a case where she denies failing to pay 14.5 million euros (approx. Ksh 2 billion) in tax for the period 2012-14, for which, if found guilty, she could be jailed for up to eight years.
In the new case, the prosecutor alleges that in 2018, Shakira failed to declare profits of $12.5 million (approx. Ksh 1.7 billion) from an advance payment for her El Dorado World Tour, among others.
At that time, Shakira was in a relationship with FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique and living in the city with their two children.
They are now separated.
Prosecutors argue that she was resident in Spain and so required to tax all her worldwide revenues there, no matter where they were earned.
Instead, they say, Shakira diverted money to “companies domiciled in countries with low taxation and high opacity”.
The 46-year-old, who has sold millions of records worldwide, and also performed at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show, is accused of failing to pay millions of euros in income tax, and is calculated to owe 6 million euros (approx. Ksh 930 million) after taking into account accrued interest but also voluntary payments.
The ‘Hip’s Don’t Lie’ hitmaker’s legal team said she had not received any notification of the new case in Miami, where she is now based.
“Shakira’s legal team is focused on preparing for the trial for the 2012-14 fiscal years, which will begin on Nov. 20,” it said in an emailed statement.