File photo of the Colombian singer Shakira. EFE/David de la Paz

Pop star Shakira accused of over $6 million tax fraud in Spain

Barcelona, Sep 26 (EFE).- Pop sensation Shakira is embroiled in a legal battle in Spain, accused of failing to pay more than 6 million euros ($6.3 million) in income and wealth taxes for 2018 while living in Barcelona with her partner, retired soccer player Gerard Pique.

File photo of Colombian singer Shakira. EFE-Ballesteros

File photo of Colombian singer Shakira. EFE-Ballesteros

The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office alleges that Shakira defrauded the tax authorities of more than $6.4 million by utilizing a network off shell firms based in tax havens.

The Spanish public ministry initiated legal proceedings against the singer three months ago and has now sent a notice to her residence in Miami.

However, Shakira’s communication team told EFE that she had not received “any notice about the lawsuit in the singer’s official residence in Miami.”

A court in Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona, has approved the opening of potential tax fraud cases against Shakira in addition to her earlier legal troubles over similar complaints.

In addition to these charges, Shakira is scheduled to stand trial on Nov. 20 for purportedly evading taxes totaling 14.5 million euros ($15.3 million) on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

The ministry, in its complaint, has suggested that the Colombian singer be asked to testify via videoconference from her residence in the United States, where she relocated after her separation from Piqué.

According to the latest complaint, Shakira is accused of evading 5.3 million euros in personal income tax, related to her earnings from her 2018 tour “El Dorado” and the transfer of her intellectual property rights, along with evading an additional 773,600 euros in wealth tax for her real estate and financial assets.

The prosecutor’s office asserts that the singer employed a network of shell companies and submitted “false declarations” for personal income tax, failing to report income while claiming expenses that were not valid, all in an effort to reduce her tax liability.

The complaint alleges that Shakira received a portion of the income from the transfer of her music rights through a Luxembourg-based company, with which she signed multiple “simulated contracts,” enabling her to benefit from a significantly reduced tax rate of 1.39 percent in 2018.

The Luxembourg firm, according to the prosecutor’s office, existed solely for tax purposes and did not engage in any substantive activities, serving only a formal and administrative role.

The complaint also alleges that Shakira employed another company established in Spain in 2017 to manage the income and expenses related to her “El Dorado” tour, consisting of 53 concerts across 22 countries.

The complaint mentions another 17 “shell” companies based in Holland, Malta, the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Bahamas, Miami, New York, and Liechtenstein allegedly used by Shakira to manage the income from her music career and maintain her real estate and financial assets. EFE