Shakira pays $32 million to Spanish taxman

Shakira has been in a relationship since 2011 with footballer Gerard Pique, but she did not transfer her official residency from the Bahamas to the Catalan city until 2015.
Shakira has been in a relationship since 2011 with footballer Gerard Pique, but she did not transfer her official residency from the Bahamas to the Catalan city until 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Madrid (AFP) - Pop star Shakira has handed over more than 20 million euros (S$32 million) to the tax authorities in Spain, a report said on Tuesday, after she was accused of not paying taxes despite being a resident between 2011 and 2014.

Catalan daily El Periodico reported that the Colombian singer had paid the money "to settle part of the debt claimed by Spain's tax authorities", corresponding to what she allegedly owed for 2011.

The fiscal authorities filed an official complaint to prosecutors in Barcelona accusing her of not paying taxes, sparking an investigation, said Jose Miguel Company, spokesman for the prosecutors' office.

The official complaint only covers the period from 2012 to 2014, however, as the statute of limitations on the prosecution of alleged tax offences in 2011 has expired.

Shakira has been in a relationship since 2011 with FC Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique, with whom she has two sons, but the 41-year-old did not transfer her official residency from the Bahamas to the Catalan city until 2015.

But "that doesn't match reality, with the children in school in Barcelona and her partner here", Company said, adding that prosecutors will decide in June whether to pursue the case.

Shakira's representatives, meanwhile, say that until 2014 she earned most of her money in international tours and didn't live more than six months a year in Spain - a prerequisite of being an official tax-paying resident in the country.

Shakira is one of the biggest acts from Latin America, scoring major global hits with songs such as Hips Don't Lie and Whenever, Wherever. She has sold more than 60 million records.