Singer Shakira faces second tax fraud investigation in Spain

Award-winning Colombian singer Shakira is facing a new investigation into alleged tax fraud in Spain after a court agreed with the Barcelona Economic Crimes Prosecutors to look into two more possible cases.

The singer is already set to face trial for allegedly failing to pay £12.6 million in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

This second investigation hinges on fraud in relation to personal income tax and wealth tax in 2018, although the amount involved is undisclosed.

Both cases are being handled by a court in Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona.

The first case alleges that the Grammy winner spent more than half the time between 2012 and 2014 in Spain, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.

However, her lawyers insist that Shakira spent most of her time abroad, and made no effort intentionally to hide her income, citing any misunderstandings as “a difference in criteria.”

Over the past 10 years, Spanish prosecutors have been cracking down on foreigners who earn money in Spain but have not paid what they perceive to be their full dues in taxes.

Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were found guilty of tax evasion by Spanish courts but avoided jail thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.

However, if found guilty at the trial for the alleged offence between 2012 and 2014, which is expected to take place this Autumn, Shakira faces a possible eight-year sentence plus a large fine.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Tax investigations in any jurisdiction can be long, costly and complex. In the UK, those accused of tax evasion can sometimes minimise penalties but cooperating with HMRC and by making full disclosure.

“Sometimes, those involved in litigation choose to make voluntary disclosures in relation to undeclared taxes via their forensic accountants so as to regularise their fiscal affairs.  They can be motivated by a desire to make claims in the litigation that would otherwise be at odds with what they have told the Revenue.”

Source: Guardian

Posted in The Forensic Blog.