Fan Bingbing: missing Chinese actor hit with $129m tax bill

Fan Bingbing: missing Chinese actor hit with $129m tax bill

Fan Bingbing: missing Chinese actor hit with $129m tax bill

Fan Bingbing, one of China's most popular entertainers, has been fined almost $70 million for tax evasion, state media reported Wednesday in the first official announcement about the actress since she mysteriously disappeared in early July.

Xinhua said an investigation by the Chinese tax authorities found that Ms Fan had split her contract to evade taxes of 7.3 million yuan over payments for her role in Air Strike, a film due to be released this year.

The government said that, as a first-time offender, she would not face criminal charges if she paid all of the money by an undisclosed deadline, Xinhua reported.

The official secrecy around Fan and her sudden disappearance stirred speculation in Chinese tabloids that she was banned from acting or placed under house arrest.

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.

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Fan Bingbing broke her silence by posting a letter of apology on social media in which she admitted wrongdoing and promised to "overcome all difficulties and raise funds" to repay what she owes.

News reports the 37-year-old explained: 'I've been suffering unprecedented pain recently... "Without the good policies of the Communist Party and the state, without the love of the people, there is no Fan Bingbing".

Some film stars were alleged to have used so-called "yin-yang contracts" - a practice where one contract sets out an actor's real earnings, and another details a lower figure, with the latter submitted to the tax authorities.

The Jiangsu provincial tax bureau delivered its judgments to Fan on Sunday, Xinhua news agency said. I'm so ashamed of what I've done. "I have reflected on my actions".

Although Ms Fan denied the accusations and Mr Cui eventually walked back his claims, China's State Administration of Taxation announced shortly after that it was looking into the claims of tax evasion involving celebrities. The statement also talks of how she's "always been interested in the arts ever since childhood" and that her success in this realm "is down to the support of my country and the people". "I would like to apologise to everyone for this", wrote Fan. I would really like to ask for everyone's forgiveness.

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