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Shakira's hairdresser appointments 'prove she was tax resident', report claims
SPAIN'S tax authorities are digging into Colombian-born pop-rocker Shakira's affairs and are claiming over €14.5 million from her which was reportedly channelled through companies in tax havens.
The singer, 41, who lives with FC Barcelona midfielder Gerard Piqué, the father of her two young sons, has recently paid off a €20m debt from her first year of living in Spain when she was not registered as a tax resident in the country – due, the artist says, to her having spent the majority of that year on tour and very little time at home in Barcelona.
Now, the Treasury has uncovered up to six cases of alleged tax evasion involving the half-Lebanese songwriter and dancer.
It mentions dormant front companies in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Panamá, and has ordered her to pay a fine of €19.5m.
Shakira says she has already paid the €14.5m the tax office claims she has 'evaded', and that it 'does not make sense' that she is now facing a fine.
Despite the fiscal authorities saying she 'pretended' not to be living in Spain and 'hid' her income through a network of offshore companies between 2012 and 2014, Shakira says she was never in Spain for the requisite 183 days a year during that time – a period after which a person is automatically considered a tax resident there.
Shakira says she was a 'foreign citizen' and 'was never resident for tax purposes in Spain until 2015', which is when she began making her declarations in the country.
According to right-wing broadsheet ABC, an inspection on the artist's hairdresser's in Barcelona showed she had been a regular customer there during the years in question, at which time she was registered for tax purposes in the Bahamas.
The report claims Shakira's personal trainer, US national Anna Kaiser, regularly visited Barcelona during that time and that the singer also attended gyms in the city, including Dir Diagonal and Bonasport, on frequent occasions.
ABC considers this as proof Shakira was indeed resident in Barcelona prior to 2015, although it has no evidence that her attendance at any of these locations or her personal trainer's trips to Spain totalled enough days per year to make her a tax resident.
Shakira, who has a maternal grandparent from Catalunya and is in practice only a quarter Colombian on her mother's side, despite having been born and raised in the latter country's Caribbean coastal city of Barranquilla, has also lived for extended periods in Miami – firstly with her boyfriend of 11 years, Antonio de la Rúa, and also for a spell whilst she was judge on The Voice after she and Piqué, 31, had already become an item.
They met at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and the attraction was almost instant, and their first child, Milan, was born in January 2013.
But she maintains she did not settle in Barcelona until Milan was nearly two, due to work commitments taking her all over the world.
The artist says the Spanish tax office is 'making a scapegoat of her' in order to 'frighten the taxpayer'.
Given Shakira's earnings as an international singer with more than 22 years of churning out albums and topping the charts on both sides of the pond, any counts of tax 'evasion' – deliberate or othewise – are considered a criminal offence by default, since the limit for 'evading' fiscal duties being considered a civil offence is €120,000.
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