Spanish court rejects Shakira’s appeal in tax evasion case | Entertainment News

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish court on Thursday dismissed Colombian singer Shakira’s appeal in a tax evasion case, clearing the way for a trial after a judge previously ruled there was enough evidence to suggest that the pop star may have avoided his state tax obligations.

The case made headlines in December 2018 after Spanish prosecutors accused the singer of failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($15.5 million) in tax on income earned between 2012 and 2014.

Shakira, 45, denied any wrongdoing during her testimony in June 2019.

At the heart of the legal wrangle is the issue of the singer‘s residency: prosecutors claim she lived primarily in Spain despite having an official residence in the Bahamas.

In its ruling on Thursday, the Spanish court said the evidence suggested Shakira was “habitually resident in Spain”, adding that the documents did not support her residence for tax purposes in another country.

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The court upheld a July decision in which Spanish judge Marco Juberías wrote that his three-year investigation found there was “sufficient evidence of criminality” for the case to go to trial.

Shakira’s public relations firm said on Thursday that she immediately paid what she owed once she was informed of the debt by the Spanish tax authorities.

“Shakira’s conduct in tax matters has always been impeccable in all countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has trusted and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best specialists and expert advisers,” the public relations firm said. in a press release.

Shakira’s legal team will continue to “defend her innocence,” the statement said.

The singer faces a fine and jail time if convicted of tax evasion. However, a judge can waive the jail term for first-time offenders if they are sentenced to less than two years behind bars.

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