Shakira Charged With Tax Evasion – The Superstar Faces Prison Time

By: Lauren Wurth | Last updated: Oct 24, 2023

Since the 2008 economic crash, Spanish prosecutors have gone all out to recover money from famous alleged tax evaders. Presently, the bag has fallen on the table of the world-famous singer Shakira.

Up until recently, when she relocated to the United States, Shakira had spent a number of years in Barcelona. After her taxable income during her Spanish residency was scrutinized, Shakira was served with a notice of potential jail time.

Shakira's Alleged Tax Evasion

Spanish prosecutors claim Shakira owes 6.7 million euros of unpaid taxes on her income from 2018. In a press statement, prosecutors stated that Shakira willfully evaded tax by channeling her income through companies domiciled in tax havens.


Source: Mirror Celeb/X

The litigation notice requested that she either pay the said amount to the Spanish government’s coffers or prepare to spend some time in prison.


What Was Shakira Doing in Barcelona?

Shakira is a Colombian by birth, but she has largely resided in the United States since she hit the limelight.


Source: Europa Press/Getty Images

However, Shakira was bitten by the love bug, and she needed to stay close to her heartthrob, the now-retired soccer player Gerard Pique. As Pique was playing for Barcelona at the time, it prompted the star singer’s move to the city.

How Love Budded

Shakira and Pique first met in 2010 on the set of “Waka-waka,” which was the theme song for the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup.


Source: Facebook

Though the duo never married, their relationship was serious business and lasted for 11 years. Pique and Shakira had two sons, Milan and Sasha, together before separating in 2022.

Save the Kids!

After the couple’s relationship went sour, Pique gave assent to Milan and Sasha staying with their mother.


Source: Getty Images

So, soon after the custody papers were signed, Shakira packed her stuff and returned to Miami with her sons. According to the summon papers sent to her new address, Shakira will have to appear before a Spanish court by November 20 to answer for the over $7.1 million charges leveled against her.

Battle on Two Fronts

As if things were not bad enough for the 46-year-old star, tax evasion litigation would be an extra burden on her distressed mind.

Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After the emotional separation from her partner of 11 years, navigating legal issues to avoid jail time is probably the last thing she was bargaining for.


Not How Much, But How Long

High-earners like celebrities need to remit tax for incomes generated during their residency in Spain. So, going by her entire period of stay in Barcelona, prosecutors are looking to fleece Shakira of upward of $16.3 million.

Source: BRFootball/X

Interestingly, soccer stars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and popular coach José Mourinho have all been indicted, at least once, for tax evasion by Spanish authorities.


Shakira's Alibi

According to Shakira, between 2011 and 2022, when she was seriously involved with Pique, she spent time with him in Barcelona while maintaining an official residence in Panama.

Source: SPORT

However, prosecutors would have none of it. In July 2022, they claimed that Shakira spent most of the period under investigation in Spain. Prosecutors are affirming that her offshore financial affiliations were ploys for tax evasion.


Spain's Financial Woes

Before the 2008 financial crash around the globe, high earners residing in Spain had it easy. However, the crisis caused the country’s external debt to jump from around 43% to over 100%.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

So, to make up for the financial deficit, tax laws were reformed, and high-earners living and earning in Spain were required to remit large sums of their income to the government.


The Separation Took a Toll on Shakira

Pique and Shakira were more than just partners; they were very close friends during their emotional involvement.

Source: Getty Images

So, their separation took a toll on the Grammy-winning musician. The more reason why she decided to start fresh in the United States. According to rumors, the duo’s separation was triggered by infidelity.


Life After Breakup

Gerard Pique retired from professional soccer in 2018, which probably gave him enough time to try out some light-hearted hobbies.

Source: Gerard Pique/Instagram

After their separation, Shakira has busied herself with raising her sons and has been sighted hanging out with Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton. Pique, on the other hand, has since gotten a new partner, Clara Chia Marti.


Leaving With a Diss

Not long after Pique decided to go public about his new girlfriend Marti, Shakira composed and released a diss track that has now broken about 15 records.

Source: Essentially Sports

When asked in an interview about her inspiration for the song, Shakira mentioned that it served as a channel to let off some steam. Hopefully, there’ll be a positive resolution to the star’s legal troubles so she can close the Spain chapter for good.