(CNN) — Shakira, the Colombian-born pop music star, could stand trial for alleged tax evasion of 14.5 million euros (US$17 million) in Spain, a court judge near Barcelona ruled.
There is “sufficient evidence” to conduct a trial for Shakira’s alleged tax evasion for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, the investigating magistrate said in a ruling obtained by CNN.
Judge Marco Jesus Juberias wrote that Shakira lived more than 200 days in Spain in each of those three years, making her responsible for paying taxes in Spain. Juberias said that in the investigation so far, Spain’s tax agency and Shakira’s lawyers have argued over the meaning of “principal residence.”
Spanish media reports said Shakira’s team argued that her main residence was in the Bahamas. But local media also said he has a house in the Barcelona area, with his long-time partner, FC Barcelona soccer defender Gerard Pique, with whom he has two children.
The judge, in the Esplugues court, wrote that Shakira and a financial adviser, also mentioned in the ruling, used a number of companies in offshore tax havens to try to hide the sources of their income during those years.
In reaction to the ruling, representatives for the singer told CNN in a statement Thursday: “This is an expected step in this process. The legal team maintains its trust and collaboration with the Justice and will not offer further comment on this matter.”
The ruling was dated July 20 and the judge gave the parties in the case 10 business days to present additional arguments, including to argue and file the case.
The Spanish tax code says anyone residing in Spain for at least six months and one day (or 183 days) in a given year is responsible for paying taxes in Spain, Madrid tax consultancy Beatriz Garcia told CNN on Thursday.