Chinese actress Fan Bingbing apologizes after fined over $128 million for tax evasion

World Today

Fan Bingbing attends the opening ceremony and premiere of “La Tete Haute (“Standing Tall”) during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2015 in Cannes, France.

‍Chinese actress Fan Bingbing on Wednesday apologized in a statement posted through her Sina Weibo account, over a tax evasion she was involved in.

The statement was posted hours after the tax bureau unveiled decisions on her punishment for tax evasion.

In the statement, Fan said that she completely accepted the punishment made by the tax bureau, and will “pay the due taxes as well as the penalties by overcoming difficulties with her best efforts.”

“I have gone through unprecedented misery and sufferings recently, and have reflected deeply upon my behaviors,” said Fan in her statement. “I was ashamed of what I have done, and I sincerely apologize to you all.”

A screenshot of Fan Bingbing’s statement of apology on her Sina Weibo account. /Photo via Weibo

The actress also vowed in her statement that she will abide by law in the future as well as the supervision of her company. Her statement was forwarded around 20,000 times within 20 minutes on Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.

Fan Bingbing has been ordered to pay 884 million yuan (about 128.6 million US dollars) in back taxes and fines, the country’s taxation authorities announced on Wednesday following an investigation into tax evasion by the actress.

In June, Fan was accused of signing two contracts, known as “yin-yang contracts,” one of which is public and used for taxes, and the other is kept off the record. A probe has been conducted by the tax bureau of Jiangsu, following orders from the State Administration of Taxation.

The investigation showed that Fan had evaded a total of 7.3 million yuan (1.06 million US dollars) in taxes for a “yin” or secret contract worth 20 million yuan she signed for shooting the film “Air Strike.” Her taxes had been settled for the “yang” or public contract, which was worth 10 million yuan.

The investigation also showed that her company has evaded 134 million yuan (19.51 million US dollars) in taxes.

Fan will have to pay 596 million yuan (86.7 million US dollars) in penalties for tax evasion, and another 288 million yuan (41.9 million US dollars) in taxes she should have paid.

The 37-year-old actress will not be held criminally liable if she pays the penalty in time, the tax bureau said, adding that the decision was made in accordance with the Chinese Criminal Law.

It is the first time the actress has received an administrative penalty for tax evasion, and she has no record of being subject to any previous criminal punishment for such behavior, the bureau added.

Fan’s agent is under custody for interfering with the tax evasion investigation by asking inspectors to conceal and destroy evidence, including accounting records and documents. The case is still under investigation.

 

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