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Beijing's Anti-tax Evasion Drive Targets Foreign Firms' Offices
Foreign firms' representative offices in Beijing have become the latest target of the anti-tax evasion drive in the Chinese capital.

By July 15, some 3,200 Beijing representative offices of foreign companies had conducted "self-examinations" concerning the payment of personal income tax by their staff, according to official sources with the Beijing tax bureau.

Thirty-four percent, or 1,100 offices, found problems to varying degrees in the "self-examinations", the sources said.

A total of 63.56 million yuan (US$7.66 million) in personal income tax arrears had been paid so far.

Misunderstanding of China's tax law, the sources said, was one of the reasons behind the delay in the payment of personal income tax.

The tax authority had taken prompt measures to help staffers of foreign firms in Beijing get acquainted with Chinese law, including opening a hotline to answer their questions.

Beijing's tax authority has beefed up anti-tax evasion drives in recent months, with the high-income tier as the major target.

Noted film actress Liu Xiaoqing was arrested last week by Beijing police for suspected tax evasion by the companies she runs.

The sources added that the "self-examinations" in foreign firms' representative offices would last until September, after which spot checks would be carried out by the authority.

Offenders caught in the spot checks would be prosecuted, the sources said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2002)

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