Pop star Shakira will face a second tax probe in Spain

FILE - Shakira poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Elvis' at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, on May 25, 2022. Shakira is facing more trouble from Spains tax office after a court near Barcelona said Thursday July 20, 2023 that it had agreed to open an investigation into a second case of alleged tax fraud by the Colombian singer. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, File) (Daniel Cole, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

BARCELONA – Pop star Shakira is facing more trouble from Spain’s tax office after a court near Barcelona said Thursday that it had agreed to open an investigation into a second case of alleged tax fraud by the Colombian singer.

Shakira is already set to face trial at a date to be determined for allegedly failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($13.9 million) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. The entertainer has denied any wrongdoing.

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Now, a Spanish judge has agreed with state prosecutors to probe two possible cases of tax fraud by Shakira from 2018. The court said it had no information on how much money was in question.

Both cases are being handled by a court in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat, near Barcelona.

The first case that is set to go to trial hinges on where Shakira lived during 2012-14. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.

Shakira’s public relations firm, Llorente y Cuenca, said in a statement in Spanish that the artist had “always acted in concordance with the law and on the advice of her financial advisers.”

The firm said that Shakira, who now lives in Miami, has yet to receive notification of the second probe.

“(Shakira) is now focused on her artistic career in Miami and is calm and confident that she will receive a favorable resolution of her fiscal issues,” the firm said.

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since she started dating the now-retired soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, lived together in Barcelona until last year, when they ended their 11-year relationship.

Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full due in taxes. They were found guilty of evasion but both avoided prison time thanks to a provision that allows a judge to waive sentences under two years in length for first-time offenders.