‘Underneath Your Clothes‘ singer Shakira has been charged with tax evasion by prosecutors in Spain, and ordered to pay an amount of €14.5 million, or roughly $AU 23 million, for the period of years between 2012 and 2014.

The issue at stake is whether Shakira was a resident of Spain throughout that time. While she listed herself as an official resident of the Bahamas for tax purposes during those years, prosecutors allege that this was not the case.

Under Spanish law, spending more than six months in the country makes you a resident there for tax purposes, and it is alleged that the singer, who lives in Barcelona with her footballer partner Gerard Piqué and their two children, met this criteria.

She officially changed her residence to Barcelona in 2015, but authorities claim that she spent enough time in the Catalan capital in the years prior, only travelling abroad for short periods, that she should be taxed on her worldwide earnings.

It is now up to a judge to decide whether there is enough evidence for the matter to go to trial. Prosecutors have asked that she pay a bond of the full amount she allegedly owes, plus an additional 33 percent, or alternatively, asked the court to freeze her assets to that amount.

A lawyer for the Colombian singer has denied the claims of Spanish prosecutors, saying “throughout her professional career and, in every case, has fully met the laws of all the jurisdictions where she has resided.”

Shakira herself said in a statement through her representatives that she is merely being used as a “scapegoat” to frighten delinquent taxpayers into coming forward.

Source: The Guardian
Image: Getty Images / Noam Galai