Livestreamer fined $16m over tax evasion as China continues to clamp down on livestreaming tax violations
Published: Jun 17, 2022 12:21 AM
tax evasion Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

Fiscal authorities in Fuzhou, East China's Jiangxi Province imposed a fine of 108 million yuan ($16 million) to a livestreamer over tax evasion as the country continues to clamp down on livestreaming tax violations.

The livestreamer named Xu Guohao underpaid personal income tax of 17.56 million yuan ($2.6 million) by false declaration for the income he earned with broadcasts, from 2019 to 2020, and evad-ed personal income tax of 19.14 million yuan ($2.8 million) through fictitious business, according to the local tax bureau.

In addition, Xu underpaid other taxes and fees of 2.1 million yuan ($313,000).

The bureau announced that a total sanction of 108 million yuan was imposed on Xu for recovering taxes and overdue fines.

Media reported that Xu is a livestreamer in popular mobile social networking platform Momo. How-ever, there is no relevant information about Xu in the Momo app.

The tax department said it will further strengthen tax services and fiscal supervision, for online live broadcasting, and promote a healthy development of the industry.

Along with the takeoff of the platform economy and livestreaming e-commerce, the Chinese tax au-thorities have strengthened supervision and regulation of the new economy and new forms of busi-ness. Additionally, they have investigated and dealt with many cases of tax evasion.

Chinese observers said the case once again shows the firm determination of the fiscal authorities to continue to crack down on livestreaming tax evasion and reflects the "zero tolerance" attitude toward tax-related violations.

On June 9, game livestreamer Sun Zixuan, better known as Di Shi on the Internet, was slammed with 11.7 million yuan ($1.7 million) in penalties and overdue taxes, according to the State Taxation Administration.

Sun failed to declare personal income tax of 1.9 million yuan ($283,000), evaded taxes on 2.2 million yuan ($328,000), by concealing the income as exceptional tips and did not pay other taxes of 347,600 yuan ($51,819) between 2019 and 2020, the statement said.

In December of 2021, the leading livestreamer Huang Wei, better known as Viya, was fined 1.34 bil-lion yuan ($199.7 million) for tax evasion.

Between 2019 and 2020, Huang evaded 643 million yuan ($95.8 million) in taxes by concealing her personal income and falsely declaring the nature of her earnings while failing to pay 60 million yuan ($8.9 million) in other taxes, said a statement by the State Taxation Administration.

According to the law, Huang was fined 1.34 billion yuan ($199.7 million), including tax payments and overdue fines, the statement said.

If a taxpayer evades taxes, the fiscal authorities shall recover the taxes that failed to be paid or were underpaid and impose a fine of not less than 50 percent but not more than five times the amount the taxpayer failed to pay or was underpaid, according to the law.

In September of 2021, the administration issued a notice specifying that livestreamers who proac-tively reported and promptly corrected tax problems by the end of 2021 could be object of a lesser punishment or be exempted from penalty under the law. Thousands of taxpayers have taken the ini-tiative to rectify their tax declaration and pay back taxes, according to Xinhua News Agency.