The judge appreciates “sufficient evidence” to take Shakira to trial for tax fraud


The singer, Shakira.

The singer, Shakira.
EFE

A judge Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona) has left a step of judgment on Shakira by appreciating “sufficient evidence” that he defrauded 14.5 million euros to the Treasury by pretending not to reside in Spain and hiding his income through a network based in tax havens from 2012 to 2014.

In a car, to which Efe had access this Wednesday, the head of the Court of Instruction number 2 of Barcelona considers that, despite the fact that the theses of the Tax agency and the singer’s defense are “diametrically opposed”, there are “sufficient evidence of criminality” to continue with the proceedings against her and for the case to be settled at trial.

The criminal process derives from a complaint from the Prosecutor’s Office, which accuses the Colombian artist of six crimes against the Public Treasury, who has already paid the 14.5 million that the Tax Agency demanded – plus another three million in interest – for an alleged tax fraud committed between 2012 and 2014 .

The judge details in the order that, from the proceedings carried out so far, it appears that the singer would have stopped paying taxes in Spain during those three years “despite having the obligation to do so because they have their tax residence here.”

In that sense, he points out that Shakira had the status of “tax liability” before the Spanish Treasury because he resided in Spain for more than the 183 days established by law -243 in 2012, 212 in 2013 and 244 in 2014- and the time he was out of the country constituted “sporadic absences”.

The car too leaves Shakira’s tax advisor on trial for allegedly collaborating in the corporate network “erected to evade the payment of tax obligations”, both for personal income tax and on equity.

According to the judge, the defendants employed a series of merchants “making these the ones that appear as holders of the income and assets” of the Colombian singer, who “would only appear in the last term and in companies based in territories considered as paradise fiscal”.

The magistrate recalls that this is not the procedural moment to “resolve guilt or innocence” of the defendants, but to “verify whether the accusation brought by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the accusations made by the Tax Agency and the Generalitat- present sufficient grounds.

The order details that the documents that accompany the complaint of the Prosecutor’s Office and the expert of the Tax Agency constitute “sufficient evidence of criminality”, once they have been confronted with “the statements taken from those investigated and with the expert report provided by the defense.”

Had a certificate of residence in the Bahamas

“This instructor has been able to verify that the positions of the Tax Agency and the defenses, even though both are well founded, are diametrically opposed,” adds the order, in which the judge highlights that “andhe study of tax regulations has been enormous, especially with regard to the concept of habitual residence “.

In fact, the experts appointed by Shakira’s defense maintain that the singer had a certificate of permanent residence in the 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.

In addition, they maintain that the days when he remained outside of Spain – on the occasion of his concert tours or his participation in the television program ‘The Voice’ in United States– should not be counted as time of residence in the country.

The judge recognizes that “at all” can “disregard the criterion maintained by the defense that the interpretation carried out by the Tax Agency is unacceptable, since it is understood that its sole purpose would be to make a person who to date has never been a tax resident “.

“Now, as the criteria of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Tax Agency also has a sufficient factual or legal basis, This judge considers that it would not be justified to dismiss the criminal case because there is a reasonable interpretation of the tax rule, “adds the instructor, who for that reason refers to accusations and defense to the oral trial.

In that sense, remember that “In the court of law it is also where the defense will have to prove their innocence definitively., not so much with investigative proceedings as with authentic evidence that supports his thesis “.

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