Living Abroad for a While? Shakira Case Shows Taxes Matter — Wherever

Colombian pop star Shakira reached a deal on alleged tax fraud in Spain in a case that shows how residency rules and living in another country can affect your tax bill.

picture converted to black and white of Shakira at the 'Elvis' red carpet
(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment)

Grammy-winning Columbian singer Shakira reached a last-minute deal with Spanish prosecutors on Nov. 20, the opening day of her trial for alleged tax fraud. The settlement, which will allow the singer to avoid jail time, follows a multiyear investigation into the singer's tax affairs. (One investigation in Barcelona reportedly involved two alleged counts of tax fraud in 2018. The Spanish trial centered on allegations of tax evasion amounting to about $16 million from 2012, 2013, and 2014.) 

Shakira, who is known for hits including "Whenever, Wherever" and "Hips Don't Lie," has throughout the years, denied the charges and previously paid millions to settle a portion of the alleged tax debt. The current deal involves a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of about 7.6 million dollars (7 million euros).

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Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.