Our political activist / artist friend, Ai Weiwei, is in the news again today fighting for his own personal tax relief and the broader agenda of pursuing justice for his fellow countrymen.
The Beijing Local Taxation Bureau has agreed to hear his appeal of a $2.4 million tax bill and fine for alleged tax evasion. They informed him the process would take no more than two months.
The IRS should take note of this. Chinese tax authorities gave themselves a deadline, a very reasonable deadline! Ok, but let’s not get overly excited about this. Will they follow through on this self-imposed deadline? And even if they do act quickly, is a speedy & oppressive ruling any better than the slow churning of the IRS? In other words, is this case being reviewed just to appease Ai and other government opposition?
Everyone will be watching closely for any missteps in the process. Ai for himself definitely sees his appeal as something grand and symbolic:
How they handle this relates to issues of China’s rule of law and the safety of its people. It has very broad implications. If they can’t resolve this issue very fairly and carefully, it will bring harm to this society’s justice system.