36-year-old Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who has been missing for months amid rumours of possible wrongdoings, has been fined with more than 880 million Chinese yuan (US$128 million) for tax evasion. She is ordered to pay back more than half of the amount in taxes, reported by China‘s state news agency Xinhua earlier this morning.
It was said that Cui Yongyuan, a former presenter for state-run China Central Television (CCTV), posted purported contracts (also known as yin-yang dual contract) online earlier in May that suggested the actress had received under-the-table payments. Then China’s State Administration of Taxation first received a report that Fan had a yin-yang contract earlier in June for the upcoming film “Air Strike.”
She was then found to have paid 248 million yuan less tax, 134 million yuan of which constituted tax evasion. For these violations, the Jiangsu provincial tax bureau is fining Fan and her legal representative 880 million yuan in total.
The “yin-yang” dual contracts is a fraudulent dual contract agreement between two parties, with one setting out the real agreed payment terms and a second with a lower figure which facilitates tax dodge.
As this was her first offense, she will not face criminal charges, as long as the fines are paid by the deadline, which has not been officially stated. Fan mentioned in the statement released on Weibo saying she accepts the verdict given by the Jiangsu provincial tax bureau.
In the statement released, Fan also apologised for her actions and asked for forgiveness. She mentioned that she feels ashamed and guilty of the behaviour and would like to apologise to the fans for this. She has been reflecting during the investigation and understands that she should be a role model for her fans and people around her. She sincerely apologises for betraying the trust the society has for her.
Fan Bingbing topped Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300 million yuan (US$43 million). She also made an international name for herself in the west in Hollywood Blockbuster movies such as X-men and Iron Man and was known as one of the highest-paid movie stars in China. She has also been the brand ambassadors for renowned brands such as Mercedes Benz and Cartier in China.