Prominent Chinese Artist Hit with Enormous Tax Bill

The Beijing Local Taxation Bureau says internationally known artist, Mr. Ai Weiwei, owes $2.36 million in back taxes and he has 10 days to pay it.

Weiwei will probably pay the bill in the end (he says he has the means to pay it), but he wants to be sure that the government is applying the law correctly.  Somehow I doubt there is much of an appeal process in China, and I would hate to see what might happen if he doesn’t make good after the 10 days have elapsed.

Weiwei is known for speaking out publicly against the Chinese government and the social problems of his homeland.  He was held by authorities for 81 days earlier this year without any formal charges, which leads Weiwei and others to suspect that the Chinese government wants to silence him one way or another.  Some may see the taxes as a side issue, and just a convenient way for the government to put him away.  We have certainly seen this scenario played out in the Unites States as well.  See full story here.

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