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Mi casa, su casa for tax purposes (Shakira, Shakira)?!

  • 3 min read
  • 4 Jan 2023
Mi casa, su casa for tax purposes (Shakira, Shakira)?!

Shakira, Shakira. Who hasn’t heard of the queen of Latin pop, known for her very impressive belly dancing moves? That’s right, no one. 

Back in 2005, Shakira gave us one of the greatest songs to date – Hips Don’t Lie. 💃

And just when we thought she couldn’t get any more iconic, Shakira made headlines last year for blasting the Spanish tax authorities. Why? Because they accused her of owing around £12 million in unpaid taxes from 2012-2014.

Wait, Shakira was accused of not paying tax in Spain?

That’s right! Here’s what happened:

In 2018, the Spanish tax agency accused Shakira of tax evasion. They said she had spent more than 184 days in Spain at her Barcelona residence, automatically making her a tax resident. 

The Spanish tax law uses three criteria to consider if a person is a resident of a Spanish territory:

  • Physical presence (if you spend a certain amount of days in Spain)
  • Economic interests (if you spend a certain amount of days working in the country)
  • If your spouse and/or underage children permanently reside in Spain

She denies these claims. Her official residence at the time was listed as the Bahamas.

How did they come to this conclusion?

A rather devoted stalker inspector named Susana C from Spain dived deep into Shakira’s personal life. We’re talking hairdresser appointments, zumba classes, restaurants and hotel bills. With the help of social media, Susana could easily track down almost all of Shakira’s movement across Spain.

Susana even went as far as finding the hospital where Shakira’s children were born, in the Catalonian region. Clearly, no event was deemed ‘too personal’ for this investigation.

When all of Shakira’s personal and business affairs were compiled into one massive timeline, the tax authorities decided Shakira was in fact a tax resident in Barcelona. She was then hit with an income tax evasion lawsuit.

How did Shakira react?

Often, when celebrities are caught in a tax evasion scheme, an interview or public statement follows. They may say something along the lines of ‘I only acted on tax advice I was given. It was a mistake.’ Sometimes a hefty fine is paid and the whole thing goes away…

But not this time. 🙅

Representatives for Shakira argued that she’s already repaid the 14.5 million euros the authorities were claiming and that the star ‘has no tax debts with the Spanish Treasury.’ 

She also maintains that she was not living in Spain at the time. She argued that she was too busy fulfilling business commitments around the world instead. 

Safe to say Susana wasn’t invited to the world tour. 🤷

What was the result of this feud?

You’d think Shakira and the Spanish tax agency would have reached some sort of agreement by now considering it all kicked off in 2018, right?

In 2019, football star Cristiano Ronaldo paid almost 20 million euros to settle his tax fraud ordeal in Spain.

But in this case, both sides refuse to back down. In fact, a representative for the singer confirmed that Shakira has rejected an offer to settle the case, and will fight in court instead. 

Currently, prosecutors seek an eight-year sentence and 20 million euros in damages if the star is found guilty. 😳

And, there’s more…

After practically having her entire personal life dissected by investigators, it came as no surprise when Shakira launched an attack on the Spanish tax agency. She stated the authorities had made her a victim of their ‘smear campaign’:

We’re not so sure we’d be very comfortable with our zumba appointments being spied on either, to be honest…

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