Defense of Shakira has tried to dismantle the accusation of tax fraud, arguing that the singer had a certificate of permanent residence in Bahamas and that, until 2015, its presence in Spain did not exceed the 183 days per year that required it to pay taxes in this country.
As legal sources have informed Efe, an expert appointed by the artist’s defense and an inspector from the Tax Agency have appeared this Thursday before the head of the investigating court number two of Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona), which investigates her for allegedly defrauding 14.5 million euros between 2012 and 2014.
The prosecution’s complaint is based on reports from the Tax agency who argue that the singer avoided paying taxes to the Spanish Treasury by pretending that she did not reside in this country and hiding her income through a corporate network based in tax havens.
The Treasury technician and the tax expert appointed by Shakira have jointly testified before the judge, in a appearance in which they have contrasted their theses in relation to the main object of discussion between the prosecution and the defense: if the singer lived in Spain more than 183 days a year, the minimum time to acquire the status of tax resident.
The defense of the Colombian artist argues that, during the investigated exercises, she had a certificate of permanent residence in the Bahamas, an accreditation that the inspectors of the Tax Agency do not recognize for tax residence purposes.
From there, the discrepancies between the Treasury and the defense expert have focused on the methodology to count the number of days the singer resided in Spain, who in her statement as investigated before the judge maintained that before 2015 only was visiting Barcelona on time due to his relationship with the soccer player of the FC Barcelona Gerard Piqué.
The inspectors of the Tax Agency count as a stay in Spain not only the days on which their presence in the country is accredited -through social networks, invoices or the use of credit cards-, but also the sporadic absences of the artist due to their Trips abroad and, with these calculations, they consider that it exceeded 183 days of residence.
On the contrary, the defense expert maintains that those days of sporadic absence – on the occasion of his concert tours or his participation in the television program “The Voice“In the United States – they should not be counted as time of residence in Spain.
Beyond the days of effective residence, neither the defrauded fee -which the singer has already returned to the Treasury- nor the network of companies domiciled in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Malta, Panama and Luxembourg with which it channeled benefits of your professional activity.
In its complaint, the Prosecutor’s Office accuses Shakira and her tax advisor in USA of six crimes against the Public Treasury and accuses them of concocting a “plan” to pay neither personal income tax nor wealth tax to the Treasury, using a network of companies based in tax havens that were formally the holders of the income they received .
In addition, the complaint adds, the interpreter signed agreements with the Luxembourg tax authorities, the so-called “Tax Ruling“, to achieve” specific and privileged taxation “conditions, when he already resided in Spain and had the obligation to pay his taxes in this country.
In total, the complaint estimates at 12.3 million the amount that Shakira had to pay to the Tax Agency for the personal income tax of the exercises 2012, 2013 and 2014 and in almost 2.2 million the sum that he would have to have paid to the Tax Agency of Catalonia for the assets available to him in those years.
Through a statement, Shakira’s defense maintains that today’s appearance is “one more step in a procedure that is still in progress. instruction phase“and has highlighted its” absolute willingness to collaborate with the judicial and tax authority in order to solve the difference in criteria. ”