Shakira will be tried for failing to pay $13.9M in income taxes. Based on the results of other Spanish tax evasion cases, however, it appears unlikely that Shakira will be sentenced.
Shakira being accused of tax evasion
The singer was accused in 2012 of not paying income taxes. The following is an extract from the New York PostShakira claimed that she spent less than half of her time in Spain.
Her primary residence is listed as the Bahamas now, but she once lived in Barcelona with her boyfriend, Gerard Piqué, and their two children. Shakira’s PR firm stated that she has paid everything she owes to the Spanish government, plus 3 million euros in interest.
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Although the trial date has yet to be set, Shakira will face six charges of tax fraud. Prosecutors intend to send the singer to jail for eight years and fine her for any unpaid taxes.
Soccer Stars Facing the Same Charges
Although this seems serious, Shakira isn’t the only celebrity to be charged with tax evasion in Spain. Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were accused of tax evasion.
Both athletes cooperated with Spanish authorities. Messi even claimed that he didn’t know about the alleged fraud. “I just played football,” He told a judge. “I signed the contracts because I trusted my dad and the lawyers and we had decided that they would take charge of those things.”
Shakira to Jail?
Ronaldo, who denied any fraud was charged with a two year suspended sentence in jail and a fine of 18.8 million euros. 2 million euros was reduced after Ronaldo cooperated fully with authorities.
He was also not sent to prison because of his suspended sentence. Ronaldo was instead placed on probation. As long as he didn’t reoffend, the soccer star didn’t have to go to jail.
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Messi received the exact same sentence: a 21 months suspended sentence and a fine of 1.7million euros. These sentences were made possible by a provision which allows judges to waive sentences of less than two years imprisonment for first-time offenders.
Since Shakira is being accused of the same type of crime, it’s pretty likely that the pop star will not actually have to spend any time behind bars—but only time will tell.