Spain Is Investigating Shakira for Suspected Tax Evasion

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Singer Shakira looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Spanish authorities are investigating Colombian pop star Shakira for possible tax evasion, the Associated Press reports. The government suspects the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer lied about her primary residence to avoid paying three years worth of income taxes in Spain.

Officially, Shakira moved in 2015 from the Bahamas to Barcelona, where she lives with her partner Gerard Piqué of FC Barcelona and their two children. Spain’s tax agency is probing whether Shakira made that move years earlier in 2012. Shakira and Piqué reportedly started dating in 2010. The Barcelona prosecutor’s office is currently running the investigation. Shakira, for her part, has hired the auditing firm PwC. Prosecutors expect a decision on whether to press charges by mid-June.

It wouldn’t be the first time the singer dodged taxes. In November, the Paradise Papers—a massive leak of data from tax registries, two corporate service providers, and one law firm specializing in offshore business practices—revealed that Shakira owned all of her music rights and intellectual property through Tournesol Limited, a company registered in Malta, a small European country notorious for facilitating tax avoidance. The Times of Malta reported that Shakira was sheltering $36 million in assets.

Madonna, Bono, Queen Elizabeth II, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross were also named in the Paradise Papers for engaging in shady offshore tax schemes.

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