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5,000 Beijing Businesses Found Dodging Taxes
A spot check by the Beijing tax bureau in the first half of the year showed that as many as 71 percent of the 7,166 businesses checked failed to pay their due taxes, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Tuesday.

The 5,057 "problem businesses" eventually coughed up more than 800 million yuan (US$96 million) in unpaid taxes, officials with the bureau were quoted as saying.

The officials blamed poor standards set by business managers and accountants and soft punishments for rampant tax dodging in the Chinese capital.

Offenders are usually charged with a 0.0005 percent late fee and a fine equivalent to 0.5 to five times the unpaid amount, but few business executives are prosecuted.

Denying customers invoices, off-book revenues and false financial records were the usual methods of evading taxes, the officials said.

In a bid to curb tax evasion, the tax authority will promote the use of an on-line tax payment system, encourage tip-offs by insiders and intensify spot checks.

Beijing's tax authority has been cracking down on tax dodging, with high earners as the main targets.

Well-known film actress Liu Xiaoqing was the latest victim of the drive. She was arrested last week for suspected tax dodging infirms she runs.

(People's Daily July 31, 2002)

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