The Multi-Talented Chinese Tax Authority

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We think the IRS has been tasked with more than it can handle now that it will have to enforce the new health care law, but it takes just one look at the Chinese taxing authority to rethink how bad it really is here.

Chinese tax collectors take multitasking to a whole new level.  The case of Chinese artist/political activist Ai Weiwei shows how their duties go far beyond collection of revenue.  In between their bean counting sessions, they somehow found time to detain and interrogate Ai in a secret location for 81 days last year.  All in a day’s work for the Chinese tax authority.

The Chinese Government insists that it is only interested in Ai paying his tax debt, but it is clear that what they really want from Ai is silence.  This story is back in the news now because Ai recently lost his appeal.  A Chinese appellate court rejected his argument that the tax authority had violated its own procedures by temporarily robbing him of his freedom last year.  And still Ai refuses to hold his peace when it comes to important Chinese social & political issues.  See full story here.