Published: Wed, October 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Actress Fan Bingbing fined US$70 million for tax evasion

Actress Fan Bingbing fined US$70 million for tax evasion

China's highest-earning actress Fan Bingbing has been ordered to pay almost 892 million yuan (about US$130 million) for tax evasion and other offences, the country's tax authorities announced on Wednesday, over three months after the film star disappeared from public view.

The official Xinhua News Agency's announcement on Wednesday ended months of speculation over the fate of the actress since she disappeared from public view in June amid reports she was being investigated for tax fraud.

A report described unpaid taxes, fines and late fees amounting to almost 900 million yuan. Because she was a first-time offender, the government said criminal charges would not be filed against her if she pays all the money by an undisclosed deadline, Xinhua reported.

In a letter posted on her official account on the Twitter-like platform Weibo, Fan said she fully accepted the authorities' decision, would overcome "all difficulties" to pay the penalties, and step up supervision of her companies.

Fan would not be investigated for criminal responsibility for tax evasion as long as the taxes, fines and late fees amounting to almost 900 million yuan (4.2 billion baht) were paid on time, the report said.

Her disappearance is believed to be related to the May disclosure of a pair of film contracts on Weibo, China's popular social media network.

The tax bureau in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu delivered its judgment to Fan on Sunday, levying fines of more than 596 million yuan ($86.7 million) for tax evasion and assessing overdue taxes of more than 288 million yuan ($42 million), Xinhua said.

In late May, Fan was accused by TV presenter Cui Yongyuan of using "yin-yang" contracts (i.e. two agreements for the same work - one submitted to authorities and one hidden), thus avoiding tax on millions of dollars worth of earnings.

"For the past few months, I have experienced pain and torture like never before", she wrote.

'Without the good policies of the party and the state, and without the love of the people, there would be no Fan Bingbing'. "I apologise sincerely to everyone". For a long period of time, I did not uphold my responsibilities of safeguarding the interests of my country and society against my personal gain.

Fan Bingbing has been China's highest-paid celebrity for the past four years, according to Forbes, taking in (a reported) 300 million yuan ($46.8 million) last year.

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