If you’re dreading the thought of paying your taxes, just be thankful you’re not Shakira, who just paid out $20 million Euros (approximately US$25 million) in back taxes to the Spanish government following earlier reports that she was being investigated for tax fraud.
Spain’s el Periodico newspaper is reporting that the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer paid the amount in order to contest the amount of the tax debt; because the investigation covers a four-year period — from 2011 until 2014 — regulations require her to pay the amount prescribed for 2011 in order to be able to challenge the decision.
According to the BBC, officials have argued that because the singer, 40, was a resident in Spain for most of that time, she could owe as much as $300 million.
Authorities are said to be seeking four years of unpaid taxes from Shakira’s global income. However, despite the claims, sources have insisted the pop star, who is the partner of FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, has always complied with her tax obligations.
They also added, according to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, that the musician, who became a full tax resident in Spain in 2015, was ready to abide by the “economic consequences.”
Shakira’s auditors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, have confirmed the investigation, according to Spain’s Efe news agency.
The issue at hand, notes el Periodico, is how many days Shakira resided in Spain for each of those years. Under Spain’s tax laws, anyone residing in the country for less than 183 days per year would only have to pay taxes on income earned in the country; spending more than 183 days in Spain, however, would make all income taxable in Spain, regardless of where in the world it was earned.
Shakira’s lawyer told El Confidencial: “As an international artist, [Shakira] had lived in several places in the course of her professional life, acting in total accordance with the laws of all the jurisdictions she resides in.”
ET Canada has contacted Shakira’s rep for comment.