Shakira has reached an agreement with Spanish prosecutors in the tax fraud case that alleged that she failed to pay €14.5 million, or around $15.8 million, in income taxes between 2012 and 2014. The trial was scheduled to begin in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday but concluded with the musician receiving a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of €7 million.
“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,” Shakira wrote in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone. “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 tranquility for years at a time.”
Shakira has stated in previous interviews regarding the charges that Spanish tax authorities have similarly filed claims against Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Xabi Alonso, and others. Prosecutors charged the singer with six counts of tax fraud and were seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a fine of more than €23 million. Spanish tax law stipulates that anyone living in the country for more than six months is considered a resident and must pay taxes.
Shakira previously maintained that she was not living in Spain full-time during the time specified by prosecutors, stating that she “didn’t spend 183 days per year” in the country because she “was busy fulfilling my professional commitments around the world.” She was offered a plea deal in 2022 but ultimately declined. Her council included PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited and Ernst & Young Global Limited.
“While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favor, 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 well-being in this fight,” Shakira continued. “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.”
In September of this year, Shakira was charged with tax fraud in Spain for a second time, with that particular case alleging failure to pay taxes in 2018. Barcelona prosecutors have accused the singer of utilizing an offshore company in a tax haven as a means of avoiding paying the tax, which they say amounts to €6.7 million, or $7.1 million.