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A lot of sources seem to be reporting that the Beijing tax authorities will not accept the money Ai Weiwei has raised from his supporters, or from mortgaging his mother's house.

That doesn't sound like what's going on, from the conversation we just had with him. The deadline for paying the tax bill is Weds, I think, and Ai wants to put the money into a third party account at the bank, to show he is able to pay the bill, and then challenge the bill in court.

However, according to Ai, the tax bureau told him "no one has ever done this before" and suggested that while it was legally possible, they didn't know what procedure to follow. They suggested to him that he puts the money in their bank account, and then pursues his court case. Unsurprisingly, Ai was not hugely happy about that idea.

"Our lawyers are in negotiations with them now about what to do," he said. "We will just have to see how the next couple of days pans out. They are the boss, so things always have to be done their way. They don't want to accept the method of putting the money in the bank to show we are capable of paying it".

He also told us the tax bill is levelled at Fake, his company, rather than at him personally.
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