Facing $130M in Penalties, Fan Bingbing Apologizes for Tax Fraud

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According to state-run news agency Xinhua, Fan has been ordered to pay nearly $130 million, after she misreported how much money she had received for certain film projects, using so-called "yin-yang contracts" to hide from the authorities her true remuneration and avoid millions of dollars in taxes.

After the news started spreading, Bingbing posted an apology on Weibo. One sentence reads, "Without the policies of the Party and the country, without the love of the people, there is no Fan Bingbing".

The 37-year-old actor, whose June disappearance touched off wild speculation about her whereabouts, has appeared in the "X-Men" and "Iron Man" film franchises, attracting more than 62 million online followers in China.

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.

China's highest-paid actress, Fan posted a public apology today on her Weibo social media account, acknowledged utilizing yin-yang contracts, and pledged to raise the money to repay what she owes. I'm so ashamed of what I've done. I once again offer my honest apologies!

Reuters was unable to contact Fan or her agent when inquiring about those reports. Fan's production company on July 3 denied any wrongdoing.

She was accused of dodging her taxes by signing secret "yin and yang" contracts, which are public and private agreements in a bid to hide her real earnings, and avoid paying taxes.

Xinhua cited tax authorities as saying Fan would not be held criminally accountable as long as she paid the fines and taxes on time.

"Everything I ever accomplished came from the country and the people's support", Fan said. "I beg for everyone's forgiveness!" She has since gone on to act in Hollywood blockbusters likeX-Men: Days of Future Past.

Following the investigation into Fan, authorities have declared a wider crackdown on the entertainment industry, Xinhua said.

Fan's troubles began in May soon after she appeared on the red carpet at Cannes film festival when a former presenter for state-run China Central Television (CCTV) posted a purported movie shoot contract.

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