August 29th, 2012
Actress Cherman "Ploy" Boonyasak has been accused of tax fraud and could face jail time if found guilty.
The organiser of an event in which Cherman made a celebrity appearance claims she used another person's ID card to register her income for withholding tax.
Revenue Department director-general Sathit Rankasiri yesterday said this would be a case of tax fraud if true.
The revenue chief's comment followed tabloid reports of an ongoing feud between the television and movie star and an event organising company.
Both sides have made accusatory postings on social media sites.
Last week, Cherman told reporters that the company, Absolute For You, failed to pay her the full 150,000-baht appearance fee, as agreed.
The company withheld 3% tax and paid her only 145,500 baht, which Cherman said is not the standard business practice.
Responding to her comment, company executive Kanrapee Wilaiporn told the press that it withheld the 3% tax from Cherman's fees instead of 5%, as should be the case for entertainers according to the tax law, because Cherman had given another person's ID card to the company to register the income for withholding tax.
According to the Manager Online website, the ID card allegedly used to register the taxable income belongs to a 77-year-old identified only as Mr Taweesak.
Cherman has not commented on the allegation. She only insisted she had paid her due taxes according to the law.
Mr Sathit said if it is true that Cherman did not register the income in her own name or found a way to pay a lower tax rate than required by law, then she would be guilty of tax fraud.
Also, the event organiser would be charged with conspiring to commit the fraud, he said.
An entertainer is subject to a 5% withholding tax. The tax law says those who avoid paying their due taxes may be imprisoned for between three months and seven years and fined between 2,000 and 200,000 baht.
Americans today seem to know a lot more about China than they used to, as evidenced by their familiarity with more Chinese names than just Mao Zedong and Jackie Chan. Americans who have only a passing interest in China will often ask me, "What do you think of Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei?" Some who have trouble with Chinese names might just ask about "that political prisoner who won the Nobel Peace Prize," "that outspoken artist the Chinese authorities keep hassling," or, now that Chen Guangcheng has spent some time in the news, "that blind lawyer who escaped from house arrest."
But here's what I keep waiting for them to ask: "How do you feel about Han Han?"
A can't-remember-the-Chinese-name variant of that question might go, "What's your take on that good-looking literary bad boy, high school drop-out, bestselling novelist, race car driver who is featured on the cover of Chinese fashion magazines and writes blog posts that often get censored by the Internet police but sometimes annoy dissidents?"
Or they might simply ask, "What do you think of theworld's most widely read blogger?." Though across-the-web comparisons are probably impossible, the 29-year-old Han Han's blog attracts about a million views per post and half a billion visitors so far, leading media outlets to occasionally refer to him as the world's most popular blogger.
A rebellious dissident appeals to Westerners in a way that an inside-the-system blogger might not.
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Interesting read as Simon and Schuster is only a month from publishing his book.