Shakira settles case with tax authorities in Spain

AP Reporters

Shakira has said that she has resolved a long-running tax dispute with Spanish authorities.

The 46-year-old singer had previously been charged with tax evasion and had attended the first day of her trial in Barcelona on Monday.

Spanish prosecutors had alleged that she failed to pay more than €14.5 million between 2012 and 2014.

As part of the deal, she accepted the charges and a fine of half the amount owed, more than €7.3 million.

She also accepted another fine of €438,000 to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge said during the trial's first hearing.

Spain Shakira Taxes
Shakira said she wanted to move past the stress and emotional toll of the past few years (AP) Photo by Joan Mateu Parra

In a statement to the PA news agency, the Hips Don’t Lie singer said: “Throughout my career, I have always strived to do what’s right and set a positive example for others.

“That often means taking the extra step in business and personal financial decisions to procure the absolute best counsel, including seeking the advice of the world’s pre-eminent tax authorities PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited, who have been my advisers during this whole process.

“Unfortunately, and despite these efforts, tax authorities in Spain pursued a case against me as they have against many professional athletes and other high-profile individuals, draining those people’s energy, time, and tranquillity for years at a time.

MTV Video Music Awards 2023 – Arrivals – New Jersey
Shakira with her sons Milan and Sasha (Doug Peters/PA) Photo by Doug Peters

“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour, I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal wellbeing in this fight.

“I need to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years and focus on the things I love – my kids and all the opportunities to come in my career, including my upcoming world tour and my new album, both of which I am extremely excited about.

“I admire tremendously those who have fought these injustices to the end, but for me, today, winning is getting my time back for my kids and my career.”

Shakira shares two sons, Milan and Sasha, from a previous relationship with footballer Gerard Pique.

The singer also has a second tax fraud investigation pending with Spanish authorities.

Spanish authorities have pursued other major celebrities over tax evasion, including soccer players such as Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazilian-Spanish player Diego Costa, all of which were settled with the stars paying large fines.

Additional reporting by Reuters.