Shakira faces alleged second tax fraud investigation in Spain

Spanish tax authorities on Thursday announced that music star Shakira is again being investigated by its officials over a second case of alleged tax fraud. This is coming amidst the current tax case the Columbian singer is facing.

The Tax officials said a Spanish judge has agreed with state prosecutors to investigate two possible cases of tax fraud by Shakira from 2018. Both cases are being handled by a court in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona.

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, is set to face a trial for allegedly failing to pay €14.5m ($13.9m) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. The charges, which had already been denied by the singer who described them as “false accusations”, are based on where Shakira lived during 2012-14. Spanish prosecutors alleged that the singer spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.

Llorente y Cuenca, Shakira’s public relations firm, said in a statement that the Grammy Award winner had “always acted in concordance with the law and on the advice of her financial advisers”.

The firm said that Shakira has yet to receive notification of the second investigation.

“[Shakira] is now focused on her artistic career in Miami and is calm and confident that she will receive a favourable resolution of her fiscal issues,” the firm said.

Shakira started living off and on in Spain when she started dating soccer player Gerard Pique, who was playing for the Barcelona football club then. The couple, who have two children, lived together in Barcelona until last year when their 11-year relationship ended. Shakira now lives in Miami.

Spain has in recent times beamed its focus on soccer stars over tax crime allegations. Superstars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were found guilty of evasion and both were heavily fined instead of jail terms thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.

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