China hits movie star Fan Bingbing with huge fines for tax evasion

China hits movie star Fan Bingbing with huge fines for tax evasion

China hits movie star Fan Bingbing with huge fines for tax evasion

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has been fined for tax evasion, state media reported Wednesday, the first public pronouncement about the star since she mysteriously disappeared from public view in June.

Chinese authorities have now ordered Ms Fan and the companies she controls to pay around 883 million yuan ($129m) in taxes, fines and penalties. If Fan pays almost 900 million yuan - amounting to $130 million in taxes, fines and late fees - she will not be investigated for criminal responsibility for tax evasion. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) Fan Bingbing, Marion Cotillard, director Simon Kinberg, with actresses Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong'o attend the photocall for "355" during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Majestic Beach Pier on May 10, 2018 in Cannes, France.

The nation's highest paid actress, Fan has tens of millions of followers on the popular Sina Weibo network and is the face of many luxury endorsements in the country.

Her agent was detained for allegedly obstructing the investigation by ordering evidence destroyed and concealing accounting documents.

Since then, the government has been mum about the actress, who is known to American audiences for her roles the X-Men franchise and other films and has been a regular on global red carpets. She has a role in the upcoming Bruce Willis-Adrien Brody feature "Air Strike".

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Hours after the news from the tax authorities, Fan posted a letter of apology on her personal account on microblogging platform Weibo, saying she deeply regretted her actions and felt ashamed of what she had done.

Out of all Fan's films and business ventures, she was found to have paid 248 million yuan less tax, 134 million yuan of which constituted tax evasion.

It is the first update posted on her microblog since June 2.

I will follow the order, try my best to overcome difficulties, raise fund, pay taxes and fines. Regulators capped pay for actors at 40% of a TV show's production budget and at 70% of the total paid to all performers in a film.

The tax bureau in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu delivered its judgment to Ms Fan on Sunday, levying fines of more than 596 million yuan for tax evasion and assessing overdue taxes of more than 288 million yuan, Xinhua said. The practice refers to celebrities who sign two contracts: one with their actual salary and another with a lower figure that is submitted to tax authorities.

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