Men actress Fan Bingbing fined US$130 million for tax offences

Toby Graves
October 5, 2018

The Chinese actress, known for X-Men: Days of Future Past and who had a role in Iron Man 3 as assistant Wu Jiaqi, and her companies face almost 884 million yuan (about $129 million) in fines and back taxes, China's taxation authorities said on Wednesday, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Xinhua said police had put a "restriction" on Fan's agent for attempting to hide and destroy evidence during the investigations in June.

She was ordered to pay almost 892 million yuan (about $130 million) for tax evasion and other offences failing which her case will be referred to police, the Post report said.

Of the total amount, Fan is being personally fined around $70 million for tax evasion, according to an announcement carried Wednesday by China's official Xinhua News Agency, citing tax authorities.

She is one of five leading global actresses cast in the forthcoming Hollywood spy thriller "355", alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz. She has a role in the upcoming Bruce Willis-Adrien Brody movie Air Strike.

Fan, who received an administrative penalty due to tax evasion for the first time and has never been subject to any criminal punishment for tax evasion, will not be pursued for criminal liability if she pays back the taxes and fines within a defined time period.

She is one of China's most influential celebrities and previous year topped Forbes magazine's list of top Chinese celebrities with income of around 300 million yuan ($43m).

A man surnamed Liang, who identified himself as a staff member of Fan's studio when reached by phone, refused to comment on the announcement or on Fan's location. She reportedly underpaid more than 255 million yuan in taxes.

Her disappearance coincided with a crackdown by the authorities on high salaries for actors that can eat up much of the cost of a production. In June, regulators capped star pay at 40 percent of a TV show's entire production budget and 70 percent of the total paid to all the actors in a film.

Social media was awash with speculation over her whereabouts and whether she had been detained. She dropped off the radar in June amid reports she was involved in an investigation into tax evasion in the film industry.

Praising the Chinese Communist Party, Fan said, "Without the good policies of the party and the state, and without the love of the people, there would be no Fan Bingbing". "Just suffer this financial loss to be spared greater disaster; moreover, these are ill-gotten gains".

She was kept at a "holiday resort" in Jiangsu used to investigate officials before being transferred to authorities in Beijing. The example described in the report referred to a reportedly common entertainment industry practice - an actor having a public contract stating an official salary and a private contract detailing actual, much higher pay. I completely accept all the penalty decisions made according to law, after the investigation done by tax authorities.

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