The Spanish government has been accused of targeting footballers for tax evasion for the past few years, which includes allegations against such athletes such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Javier Mascherano. However, Spanish tac authorities switched things up by targeting international pop singer Shakira. The popstar was charged with tax evasion for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Shakira, born in Colombia in 1977, met her husband – FC Barcelona footballer – Gerard Piqué, while filming the video for her “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” which was the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In 2013, Shakira gave birth to the couple’s first son in Barcelona in 2013. At the time, news agencies reported that the baby “was born in Barcelona, Spain where Shakira and soccer star Gerard Piqué currently reside.”
The popstar’s residence is precisely what landed her on the Spanish tax authorities’ wanted list. Shakira previously resided in the Bahamas, while she continued to claim Bahamian residency for tax purposes until 2015, when she changed her official residency to Spain, according to Spanish authorities.However, the authorities claim she was a resident of Spain, not the Bahamas, from 2011 through 2014.
Shakira owes more than 24.5 million euros ($16.4 million U.S.) in unpaid taxes, Spanish tax authorities claim, in which they are seeking to hold her criminally responsible for the years 2012 through 2014, alleging that she took steps to conceal her residency during those years for tax purposes. Forbes notes that 2011 was excluded due to the statute of limitations.
The investigation began more than a year ago, while tax investigators followed the singer to places she frequented, like her hairdresser, in an effort to establish residency. They even tracked her activity on social media networks, including Instagram.
The issue will further move to court where the judge will have the ultimate decision on whether to accept the criminal complaint brought by prosecutors. Shakira, through her representatives, denied the allegations.