China punishes officials in Fan Bingbing tax evasion case
Officials at the Wuxi tax bureau have been punished for "poor management" in relation to Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing's tax evasion case, Chinese state media reported on Monday (Oct 8).
Last week, Chinese tax authorities ordered Fan to pay 883 million yuan (USD129 million) in back taxes, fines and penalties. AFP/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT
At least five people have been disciplined, including the head of the taxation bureau in the city of Wuxi, where Fan's company is based, Xinhua news agency reported.
The State Administration of Taxation has instructed the provincial tax bureau in Jiangsu province to "hold accountable" those involved in Fan's case for poor management, Xinhua said, before going on to list a number of inpiduals who have been issued with official and verbal warnings about their shortcomings.
According to Xinhua, China has also launched a campaign to regulate tax payment in the film and TV industry, as well as to target violations and dereliction of duty of tax officials.
Fan was accused in May of receiving under-the-table payments by agreeing to dual "yin-yang" film contracts, in which one contract sets out the real agreed payment terms while the second states a lower figure for the tax authorities.
Last week, tax authorities ordered Fan to pay 883 million yuan (USD129 million) in back taxes, fines and penalties, adding that she would avoid incarceration if she pays up in time.
The 36-year-old actress, model and producer had been a ubiquitous household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Last year, she topped Forbes magazine's list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300 million yuan (USD 43 million).
A prolific social media user, she disappeared from the public eye in May after allegations emerged that she evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot, charges her studio called slanders.
Her sudden absence from screens and advertisements across the country spurred rumours that she had been snatched by officials at a time when Beijing is cracking down on what it views as excesses in the film and television industry.
A number of well-known Chinese figures have gone missing in recent years, only to resurface weeks or months later in a courtroom accused of corruption.
The highest profile figure to face such a fate is former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, who was on Monday accused of taking bribes./.