A Spanish court denied Colombian singer Shakira's appeal in a tax fraud case on Thursday, setting the way for a trial, saying there was enough evidence to suggest she may have evaded her tax duties to the government.
Shakira was accused of failing to pay USD 15.5 million in taxes on income generated between 2012 and 2014 by Spanish authorities in December 2018. According to Times Of India, she testified in June 2019 and denied any misconduct.
The suspicion regarding the pop singer's residence is at the heart of the dispute. Despite having an official residency in the Bahamas, the court concluded she spent most of her time in Spain. The evidence revealed that Shakira was a "habitual resident in Spain," according to the Spanish court, adding that the paperwork did not establish her domicile for tax reasons in another nation.
"Shakira's conduct on tax matters has always been impeccable in all the countries where she has had to pay taxes, and she has trusted and faithfully followed the recommendations of the best specialists and expert advisors," her PR firm said.
The musician could face fines and imprisonment if found guilty of tax evasion. However, if the first-time offender is sentenced to less than two years in prison, a judge may reduce the term. In a statement, the singer's legal team indicated that it will continue to 'defend her innocence.'