Again And Again: Shakira vs. The Spanish Treasury

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A new lawsuit by the Spanish treasury against Shakira begins. The Colombian singer is accused on a new occasion of defrauding the Spanish Treasury .


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Leer en español: Vuelve y juega: Shakira vs. el fisco español

The Spanish Prosecutor's Office accuses the Colombian singer Shakira of having defrauded the Treasury of more than 6 million euros in the 2018 income and wealth tax returns, using a corporate network based in tax havens.

This is what the Spanish public ministry maintains in the complaint it filed 3 months ago against the artist - already notified to her home in Miami -, which gave rise to a court in Barcelona to open a second case against her, for two crimes against Public estate.

However, Shakira's communications office told EFE that they have not received "any notification in Miami, the singer's official domicile, about the complaint," and stressed that her legal team is "focused on preparing the trial" that will begin. next November 20.

Shakira will be tried that day in the Barcelona Court for defrauding 14.5 million euros between 2012 and 2014, in another case that was also initiated by a complaint from the Economic Crimes Prosecutor's Office of that Spanish city.

On this occasion, the public ministry proposes in its complaint that the Colombian artist can testify as being investigated by videoconference from her home in the United States, where she moved from Barcelona after her breakup with former soccer player Gerard Piqué.

What, specifically, does the Spanish treasury accuse Shakira of?

Specifically, the complaint maintains that the singer defrauded the Spanish Tax Agency of 5.3 million in personal income tax (IRPF) , corresponding to the income she received from her 2018 tour "El Dorado" and from the transfer of its intellectual rights, and another 773,600 euros in wealth tax for the 12 million it owns in real estate and financial assets.

To defraud the treasury, the defendant used a corporate framework and presented "untrue tax returns" in which she omitted to declare income and deducted expenses that were not applicable, thereby managing to reduce the amount payable to the Treasury.

According to the complaint, Shakira collected part of the income she received from the transfer of her musical rights through a company incorporated in Luxembourg with which she signed several "simulated contracts", so that she benefited from a "very reduced" taxation that in fiscal year 2018 it stood at 1.39%.

That Luxembourg firm, in the opinion of the Prosecutor's Office, "was merely a company incorporated for tax purposes only" that did not carry out any activity, beyond a "merely formal and administrative intervention."

The complaint also states that Shakira used another instrumental company, established in Spain in 2017, to "account for the income and expenses corresponding" to her "El Dorado" tour - which included 53 concerts in 22 countries -, despite the fact that the signature lacked also of real activity.

Read also: "El Jefe": Shakira Goes From Heartbreak to Labor Injustice

The complaint from the Economic Crimes Prosecutor's Office mentions another 17 "instrumental" companies based in Holland, Malta, British Virgin Islands, Panama, Bahamas, Miami, New York or Liechtenstein that the person under investigation allegedly used to manage income from her musical career , as well as the maintenance of her real estate and financial assets.

Furthermore, the public ministry considers that Shakira deducted an extra seven million in the expenses of her companies, in some cases because they were counted in duplicate and in others because they were payments of an "eminently personal" nature.

Among those personal expenses that the Prosecutor's Office considers non-deductible are private trips by private jet - 150,483 euros - as well as plane tickets for her two children and their educator.

Shakira is awaiting trial for another complaint for tax fraud that the public ministry filed against her, precisely in 2018, a case that continued despite the fact that the artist returned 17.2 million euros to the Tax Agency - the sum allegedly defrauded plus the interest -, once she knew that she was being investigated.

In this process, the Prosecutor's Office requests a sentence of eight years and two months in prison and a fine of 23.8 million for the Colombian singer.