What are their chances of jail time?

Shakira is set to stand trial on six alleged tax offenses in Spain, and many are wondering if the Colombian-born star actually faces jail time.

Shakira, 45, whose first name is Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been accused by Spain’s tax authorities of avoiding paying 14.5 million euros (around $16.4 million) in taxes.

Prosecutors in Barcelona claimed that the pop star did not pay taxes between 2012 and 2014 despite being tax resident in Spain, and are demanding an eight-year prison sentence and a multimillion-euro fine.

Shakira has denied these allegations and turned down a plea deal, opting to go to court. She has argued that she had legal residency in the income-tax-free Bahamas during the period in question, which became a family home for her and her former partner, Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, and their two children. Shakira announced her split from Piqué in June.

"elvis" Red Carpet - The 75th Annual
Here Shakira attends the screening of ‘Elvis’ during the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 25, 2022 in Cannes, France. Shakira is set to stand trial in Spain over tax evasion charges, but a lawyer believes the odds are in the singer’s favour.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

While the date for the upcoming trial has yet to be set, many fans are now wondering what Shakira’s chances are of avoiding jail time. For tax lawyer Isaac Abad of Abad & Associates Lawyers and Accountants, based in Spain, the odds are in Shakira’s side.

“Shakira paid 14 million euros to the tax office and 3 million euros in interest, so she paid 17 million,” Abad said news week. “It’s called fighting crime. If you pay before the process starts, [it is] part of the compensation, then this is usually understood as crime reduction.”

Abad added that if the judge considered civil liability from mitigation and determined that the offender was unlikely to commit another crime, he could reduce the sentence required by authorities.

“So in this case also with the news [is] to say, ‘Well, they’re asking eight years for Shakira to go to prison,’ is highly unlikely,” he said.

He added that the judge must decide whether she can commit another crime in the future, taking into account the evidence that she was living in Spain during the time she allegedly evaded taxes.

But even with something like the 183-day rule, which says that if a person spends 183 days or more in a country owes that country worldwide taxes, Abad believes putting Shakira behind bars wouldn’t be enough .

“I think even if the judge ends up assuming she’s been in Spain more than 183 days each year and even if they think she acted in bad faith, I don’t think she should go to jail for that will come,” he said.

He added that the superstar and prosecutors could very well reach an agreement before the trial even begins. “They are not trying to violate Shakira’s freedom,” Abad said. “They want the money and that’s all. But to reach an agreement, she has to admit that she did wrong.”

With many factors for the judge to consider, as well as evidence to be brought in by both sides should an agreement not be reached, Abad said nonetheless, “I think she can have a good rest at night knowing that she is the will not know prisons from Barcelona.”

news week has reached out to a Shakira representative for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/shakira-stand-trial-tax-fraud-chances-jail-time-spain-1747265 What are their chances of jail time?

Rick Schindler

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