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Shakira could face trial for tax evasion in Spain

Shakira could face trial for tax evasion in Spain

Madrid, Spain (CNN) — An investigating judge at a court near Barcelona said that Colombian-born pop star Shakira could face trial for alleged tax evasion of 14.5 million euros ($17 million) in Spain.

The investigating judge added that there was “sufficient evidence” to hold a trial for alleged tax evasion of Shakira for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Judge Marco Jesus Goberias wrote that Shakira lived more than 200 days in Spain in each of those three years, which made her responsible for paying taxes in Spain. In the investigation so far, Goberias said the Spanish tax agency and Shakira’s lawyer had disagreed over the meaning of the “main residence”.

Spanish media reports said Shakira’s defense team argued that her main residence was in the Bahamas. But local media also said that she has a house in the Barcelona area, with her long-time partner, FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, and has two children.

The judge, in Espalogas Court, wrote that Shakira and a financial advisor, also named in the ruling, used a series of companies in offshore tax havens to try to hide their sources of income during those years.

In response to the ruling, the singer’s representatives told CNN in a statement Thursday, “This is an expected step in this process. The legal team maintains its confidence and cooperation with justice and will not provide any further comments on this matter.”

On July 20, the judge gave the parties to the case 10 working days to present additional arguments, including a motion to stay the case.

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Spanish tax law states that anyone who resides in Spain for at least six months and one day — or 183 days — in a given year must pay taxes in Spain, Madrid tax advisor Beatriz Garcia told CNN Thursday.