Colombian singer Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, known to worldwide audiences as Shakira, is about to be charged for tax fraud in Spain, El Pais reports.
According to the newspaper, an investigation conducted by the Spanish Tax Agency revealed that the singer allegedly defrauded the Treasury for 14.5 million euros (about $16.5 million) worth of “income taxes and equity” between 2012 and 2014.
The agency alleges that Shakira established her tax residence in Spain "at least since 2011, when her relationship with Barca defender Gerard Pique was made public" Spanish law states that if a citizen spends more than half a year living in Spain, he or she must be considered a resident for tax purposes, and has to pay income tax regardless of where said income was earned.
Shakira herself however said in a statement cited by La Vanguardia newspaper that she “has complied at all times with her tax obligations and does not owe any amount to the Spanish Treasury".
She also noted that she was "unique due to her being a foreign citizen in Spain whose income comes almost entirely (96 percent) from abroad".