Shakira Apparently Owes so Much in Taxes That Spain Wants to Imprison Her for 8 Years

Spanish prosecutors say the Columbian singer has an unpaid tax bill of 14.5 million euros.

Shakira Apparently Owes so Much in Taxes That Spain Wants to Imprison Her for 8 Years
Image:Maddie Meyer / Staff (Getty Images)

Today in news stories we didn’t expect: Shakira potentially faces over 8 years in prison for failing to pay taxes in Spain for the period between 2012 and 2014, a prosecution document showed on Friday. The Spanish government is also seeking to fine her up to 24 million euros as further penalty for her outstanding tax bill of 14.5 million euros ($15 million).

Earlier this week, the Hips Don’t Lie singer rejected an offer from prosectors to settle out of court. She has denied any wrongdoing, and her representatives have claimed the singer’s rights are being violated by the Spanish Tax Administration Agency. (As an aside: I’m not sure “trying to make me pay the literal millions I owe in taxes” is really rises to the level of “rights violation” when you are a world-renowned singer.)

Shakira, who is Colombian, and her then-partner (more on that below) bought a house in Barcelona in 2012, which became a main residence for the couple, and their first son, who was born in Spain in 2013. According to Spanish authorities, that’s enough to qualify her as “ordinarily resident,” which comes with certain tax obligations. Shakira, of course, says she’s already paid what she owes, plus an additional 3 million euros in interest.

This isn’t the Shakira news we want to hear—especially on the heels of her split from longtime partner, Spanish soccer player Gerald Piqué after 11 years and two children together. The former couple issued a fairly standard, boilerplate statement confirming the news in June: “We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you for your understanding.”

It can’t be fun juggling the demise of a longterm relationship, swirling rumors of infidelity, and a potential prison sentence in your ex’s home country.

There has to be a way for Shakira to wriggle her way out of these charges with the same grace and precision that she moves those hips.

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