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Spanish Court Throws Out Shakira’s Appeal In Tax Fraud Case

Shakira may have famously sang her “Hips Don’t Lie,” but Spanish prosecutors are accusing the Colombian singer of lying about her place of residence in order to skip out on Spanish taxes, which resulted in over $15 million in unpaid taxes.

She attempted to appeal the charges, which were first filed in 2018 and said when she testified in 2019 that she meant no wrongdoing. She filed taxes as a resident of the Bahamas, but the Spanish court said Thursday that there is adequate evidence to prove Shakira was “a habitual resident of Spain,” through the years in question, 2012-2014.

If Shakira spent more than 183 days in Spain per year in that window, she would have had to pay taxes on all international income rather than just income accrued in the country. She paid nearly $25 million in owed taxes when her accusations were first announced, and could face fines and jail time if convicted, though jail is unlikely in first-time offender cases.

A PR firm representing the singer said, “Shakira’s conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has trusted and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best specialist and expert advisors.” As the trial begins to unfold in court, the firm said the signer’s lawyers will “defend her innocence.”

The court has yet to set the first date for this open case despite this initial legal setback for Shakira’s legal team.

Jacob Linden

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