Montserrat Caballé hit with huge tax fine

A Spanish court has ordered Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé to pay a €254,000 fine for tax avoidance. Caballé was originally charged back in 2014 for failing to declare €508,000 in earnings from 2010 for concerts in Italy, Russia and Switzerland.

On 16 December Caballé reached a deal with prosecutors to pay the fine and receive a six month prison sentence. Spanish courts do not generally enforce jail sentences of under two years for tax offences, so Caballé will not serve any jail time.

The case came about because although Caballé’s main residence is Barcelona she declared her earnings in Andorra, with the result that she paid no tax in Spain. The court said she had been ‘habitually’ living in Spain, and so could not declare residency in Andorra.

Caballé has performed over 80 operatic roles in her career. She is best known for her performance in the titular role in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, as well as her duet with Freddie Mercury on the track Barcelona. Caballé is also recognised for her charity work, founding a children’s charity and acting as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

Under the court agreement the singer must pay €72,000 in interest on top of the fine. She did not appear in court, instead hearing the verdict via video conference.

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