Shakira has insisted she’s the victim of a smear campaign as her Spanish tax fraud case continues.
According to TMZ, the singer, who has been accused of failing to pay more than $14 million USD in taxes for income earned from 2012 to 2014, has told authorities that she was not a resident of Spain during that time.
People are required to pay taxes if they spend more than 183 days or more in Spain in a single year, but Shakira continues to claim she didn’t.
The website stated that during that period, where she was appearing as a coach on “The Voice”, she actually paid $10,141,075 in taxes to the U.S. government.
Prosecutors are seeking an 8-year prison sentence and a $24 million fine if she’s convicted in the upcoming trial.
Shakira’s lawyer, Pablo Molins Amat, presented her legal statement of offence to the Barcelona court on Friday, the Daily Mail reported.
It read: “Shakira is a taxpayer who has always shown impeccable tax conduct and has never had tax problems in any other jurisdiction.
“She never exceeded the 183 days of presence in Spain required to be a tax resident.
“With no solid evidence to support the charges against her, she has been fiercely persecuted in the criminal and media spheres using unacceptable methods to damage her reputation and force her to come to a settlement agreement,” it continued.
“Shakira has already paid more than 90 million euros for international income that has not been generated in Spain and for her international assets, without having a business centre in this country where she has never earned a significant income.”
The hitmaker added in a personal message: “It is unacceptable that in its accusation the tax authorities are not respecting the legal certainty that must be guaranteed to any taxpayer, not my fundamental rights.
“As well as that they are trying to damage a reputation earned with the work of many years.”
The Mail stated that the Spanish Treasury had requested private data from hospitals where the singer had asked for an appointment.
Shakira continued, “In my case they have violated my right to privacy and the presumption of innocence, basic rights of any citizen.”
Her reps added, “What actually occurred were sporadic presences, thus resulting in an accusation based on mere conjecture.
“As an example, the accusation counts all the payments made with a series of credit cards belonging to her team and friends made in Spain to add up the days of Shakira’s presence in this country, without taking into account that, on many occasions, there are payments made simultaneously in different parts of the world, without the artist being physically present in those places where the payments were being made.
“Shakira continues to maintain her firm will comply with all her tax obligations in Spain, as well as in all the countries where she has resided or performed during her long professional career.
“Finally, Shakira wishes to express her absolute confidence in the independence of the Spanish justice system and her firm conviction that, after the trial, her full innocence will prevail.”