Shakira Wins Legal Battle in Spain Over Tax Evasion Charges

Spain’s probe into pop sensation Shakira’s alleged tax evasion was dropped this week over a lack of evidence, according to multiple media reports on Friday.

Shakira was the subject of an investigation launched in July by prosecutors in Spain (where she says she moved in 2015) who claimed in this case that she had used a series of companies and tax havens to cheat the government out of €6.6 million in owed 2018 taxes. Shakira already paid the Spanish government the full amount in August to settle any debt.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

But on Wednesday, investigators told the court that a lack of evidence prompted them to ask that the the criminal case against the pop star be dropped.

The following day, the court agreed that there was not enough evidence presented to “constitute a [criminal] offense against the tax authorities”; Shakira had made no “intent to defraud” the Spanish government, despite certain “irregularities” in her tax return, the court declared as it tossed the case.

“[This] put an end to the smear campaign waged by the tax authorities…[and] proves there was never any fraudulent behavior on the part of the singer,” defense attorney Pau Molins said, according to The Guardian, adding that Shakira is now “completely satisfied that [the court] had acknowledged she had not committed any criminal fraud.”

The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Molins on Friday.

Yet for Shakira, the Spanish tax woes stemming from living there with her former partner are not quite over. The singer must still resolve an administrative dispute over the amount of time she spent in the country in 2011. Her legal team has said that she spent 70 days in the country that year; the threshold for owing taxes for living in Spain is 183 days, according to accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper.

Earlier this year, Shakira was looking at a potential eight-year jail sentence as she faced a trial over her Spanish tax bills from 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors claimed that the singer, who was then dating Barcelona soccer player Gerard Piqué, defrauded Spanish revenues of €14.5 million. Shakira says this can’t be the case, as she didn’t move to Spain until 2015.

The planned three-week trial never happened, as Shakira agreed to pay a fine to the tune of around €7.8 million; this was on top of the €17.45 million already paid to Spain for her time there.

Shakira now lives in Miami with her two children. In 2016, as part of an ongoing crackdown on celebrity tax evasion, Piqué was convicted of tax fraud; he paid €2.1 million to settle the debt, only to have the conviction overturned by Spain’s Supreme Court.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter