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Anti-tax Evasion Drive Targets the Rich
Guangzhou in south China has stepped up its scrutiny of singers, film stars and other high-income earners to ensure they fully pay their individual income taxes.

At the end of last year, Guangzhou opened up special files to record individual income tax payments by 11 highly-paid occupations and 13 categories of wealthy people.

Business tycoons, lawyers, accountants, actors, singers and soccer stars are at the top of the list.

The monitoring system had tracked over 20,000 rich people by the end of July, sources from the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Local Taxes told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News estimated that 500,000 highly-paid people in Guangzhou were being monitored by the local tax authority.

Even David Copperfield, a noted American magician, paid 469,000yuan (US$56,500) in individual income tax after his recent round of performances in Guangzhou.

Latest figures show that the city's personal income tax revenue during the first half of this year soared 43.29 percent to 2.85 billion yuan (US$340 million), making up 21.21 percent of all its local tax revenue.

Tax authorities across China have beefed up anti-tax evasion efforts following the recent arrest of billionaire film actress Liu Xiaoqing on charges of tax dodging.

The nation's capital Beijing and Zhejiang Province on the east coast, known as "cradles of the wealthy", have also improved their management of individual income tax collection, with high-income earners the major target.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2002)

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