Shakira charged with massive tax evasion

Spanish prosecutors have charged Colombian pop star Shakira with tax evasion, alleging she failed to pay more than €14.5 million between 2012 and 2014.

The charges published Friday allege that Shakira listed the Bahamas as her official residence for tax purposes during those years but was in fact living in Spain with her partner, Spanish football player Gerard Pique.

Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas than in Spain.

Prosecutors in Barcelona say her travel abroad was for short periods because of professional commitments, while most of the year she stayed in Spain. They want her to pay tax in Spain on her worldwide income.

The Colombian singer officially moved to Spain for tax purposes in 2015, after having two children with Pique.

A magistrate will assess whether there is enough evidence to put Shakira on trial; her representatives said they had no immediate comment.

Prosecutors want Shakira to pay a bond of €19.4 million - the amount they claim she owes in tax, plus 33 percent, in accordance with Spanish law - otherwise, they recommend a court freeze of her assets to that amount.

Shakira was named in the Paradise Papers leaks that detailed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals, including musical celebrities like Madonna and U2's Bono.

The documents were obtained by German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and investigated by Spanish news website El Confidencial.

Spain's tax authorities referred their probe to the Barcelona prosecutor's office a year ago.

A number of sports celebrities have also been in trouble with Spanish tax authorities in recent years, including football players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

APTN