The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Whenever, wherever: Shakira reportedly pays $25m to Spanish tax authorities

Associated Press Sunday, 4 March 2018, 08:00 Last update: about 10 months ago

Colombian singer Shakira has paid the Spanish government $25 million following an investigation into possible tax evasion committed through a company that she owns in Malta which manages her intellectual property rights and brands.

This comes after Spanish press reported that her hairdresser has confirmed to the country's tax authority's suspicions that the singer had already lived in Barcelona between 2012 and 2014. 

Shakira had claimed that she officially switched her country of residence from the Bahamas to Barcelona, where she lives with her partner Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique and the couple's two sons, in 2015.

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The fee is believed to cover only a portion of the tax debate the singer, whose net worth is believed to be more than $220 million, needs to settle.

The Spanish tax authorities had launched an investigation into the pop star for possible tax evasion during the three years before she officially relocated to Barcelona.

Central to the probe is the company the Columbian singer set up in Malta, which had become a focus of attention in the Paradise Papers, which showed how she had relocated her intellectual property rights and brands to a company based in Malta in 2009.

Anna Forastier, a representative for auditing firm PwC, told the Associated Press that the company has been hired by Shakira for the investigation. She declined to disclose any details.

Shakira and Pique's relationship dates back to 2011, when Shakira started frequenting Barcelona. Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, citing papers it obtained from offshore services providers through the Paradise Papers, reported that she had listed the Bahamas as her official residence until 2015.

If the probe finds wrongdoing, Shakira would engross a list of celebrities that have been in trouble with Spanish tax authorities, including footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

This newspaper had, back in 2013, revealed court documents that showed how Shakira's business empire was being run through a Malta-based company addressed at SmartCity.

The company, Tournesol Limited, was registered in Malta on 27 December 2007. The company holds the rights to her musical assets, amounting to a value of some €32 million. The company's authorised share capital is €3.02 million. Tournesol, in turn, owns a Luxemburg-based firm named ACE Entertainment.

A search of Malta's Registry of Companies at the Malta Financial Services Authority still shows Shakira to be the 100 per owner of the company, and her listed address of residence as being in the Bahamas. Her actual address, in Nassau, is not being published for obvious reasons.


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