People.com Entertainment Music Shakira Charged with Tax Evasion in Spain for Allegedly Owing More Than $16.3 Million Singer Shakira has been charged with tax evasion in Spain for alleging owing $16.3 million By Robyn Merrett and Sarah Michaud Sarah Michaud Instagram Sarah Michaud is the senior news editor of PEOPLE's music vertical. She has been with the brand for close to 15 years, holding various roles across the digital news team before focusing on music. In 2021, Sarah won the CMA media achievement award for her coverage of country music. She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology, social work and English and resides outside of Boston. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 14, 2018 11:55 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Spanish prosecutors have charged Shakira with tax evasion. The Colombian singer, 41, allegedly failed to pay $16.3 million between the years 2012 and 2014. The charges, published Friday, claim Shakira listed the Bahamas as her primary residence for tax purposes — when she actually lived in Barcelona with her partner Gerard Piqué and their young sons Sasha, 3, and Milan, 5. A source close to the singer, however, says Shakira believes she is innocent and the prosecutor is using the case as a “smear campaign,” to target a successful artist. Her team is convinced the investigation and charges were initiated to intimidate other taxpayers and use Shakira as a “scapegoat,” the source tells PEOPLE. MIGUEL A. LOPES/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock The source also says Shakira has already paid the money that she allegedly owed in full. Prosecutors allege that the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer lived in Barcelona from 2012 to 2014, but Shakira maintains she did not reside in Spain longer than 183 days during that time. Shakira officially declared herself a resident of Spain in 2015, the same year Sasha was born. A judge will later decide if there is enough evidence to bring Shakira’s case to trial, the Associated Press reported. The investigation into Shakira’s taxes opened back in January. The news of the charge comes just a month after Shakira announced that she is opening two schools in her home country of Colombia in Cartagena and Barranquilla with her Pies Descalzos Foundation. Alexander Tamargo/Getty ‘Vamos Colombia!’ Shakira’s Sons Support Her Home Country During World Cup — See the Cute Snaps “On behalf of Fundacion Pies Descalzos — to Costa Cruceros, the National Ministry of Education, the Mayor’s office of Barranquilla, the Mayor’s office of Cartagena, the Fundacion FC Barcelona, LCI Education Foundation and the Swiss Embassy in Colombia — thank you for participating in the construction of these two new schools that will take us one step further towards quality in Colombia and Latin America,” she said in a statement. “Investing in education and offering equal opportunities to our boys and girls is the way to continue paving the way for peace,” the statement continued.