Shakira Pays Nearly $25 Million in Back Taxes to Spanish Government: Report
Shakira has reportedly paid a major bill for back taxes owed to the Spanish government.
According to numerous reports in local media, the international superstar has paid more than 20 million Euros (about $25 million) to the Spanish authorities to settle part of a debt the government claims it is owed as part of an ongoing investigation into the possibility of tax fraud.
A rep for Shakira didn’t immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Barcelona’s El Periodico newspaper was the first to report the story on Monday. According to the outlet, the fraud investigation seeks to establish whether Shakira legally resided in Spain with her longtime boyfriend, Barcelona Futbol Club soccer player Gerard Piqué, between the years 2011 and 2014.
Spanish law states that if an individual spends more than 183 days in the country, they are considered a legal resident and liable for paying taxes on income acquired internationally. However, those spending fewer than 183 days in Spain would only be accountable for income earned within the country.
Shakira, 41, reportedly claims that she had spent the majority of those years as a resident of the Bahamas, and filed her taxes accordingly. In documents obtained by both El Periodico and El Pais, the singer’s defense claimed that she had indeed spent most of her time abroad, and made no effort to intentionally hide her income, citing any misunderstandings as “a difference in criteria.”
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Spanish press reports have detailed extensive efforts of local tax authorities to establish Shakira’s place of residence during the years in question, going so far as to interview her hairstylist and study numerous photos of the star out and about in Spain.
Shakira’s reported payment covers the amount owed for 2011, while the investigation into taxes owed for 2012-2014 remains ongoing, El Periodico claims. Once completed, the district attorney and the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (Spanish Tax Agency) are expected to decide if tax fraud charges will be brought and the case will proceed to court.