The Colombian singer Shakira has reached a settlement with prosecutors in Spain to avoid a trial over charges that she failed to pay £12.7m in income tax between 2012 and 2014.

As part of the deal, which puts an end to the trial in Barcelona, prosecutors swapped a potential prison sentence for the singer for fines, the judge said during the trial’s first hearing.

The 46-year-old has a second tax fraud investigation pending with Spanish authorities, claiming she paid what the tax office said was owed before it filed a lawsuit, and insists she was not living in Spain during the period as her work led to a nomadic life.

The prosecutor’s office had alleged that Shakira spent more than half of each of the years in question in Spain and was therefore ordinarily resident in the country, arguing that a Barcelona property she bought in May 2012 served as a family home.

Spanish authorities have pursued other celebrities over tax evasion, including footballers such as Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and the Brazilian-Spanish player Diego Costa. All settled and paid large fines.

November 20, 2023

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