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Taxman to Visit Amsterdam Prostitutes... for Business Only

By Jason Beahm on February 17, 2011 5:53 AM

Dear Amsterdam Prostitutes,

Remember to pay your taxes.


The Netherlands.

Prostitution is legal in The Netherlands, so it stands to reason that prostitutes have to pay taxes on their income. The Dutch government has stated that it plans to send tax authorities into the red light district in Amsterdam for a "business only" visit.

"We began at the larger places, the brothels, so now we're moving on to the window landlords and the ladies," a spokeswoman for the country's Tax Service said, the NY Daily News reports. According to the Daily News, an average 15 minute session with an Amsterdam prostitute costs $65 and should include a 19% sales tax, which adds about another $12 for a total of $77. On top of that, prostitutes should be paying taxes on their income, which ranges from 33 to 52 percent. Yikes, 52% only leaves $30 with the prostitute while $47 goes to the government. Who is getting the better end of that deal?

The Daily News interviewed Samantha, a sex worker who questioned the enforceability of a sales tax in her line of work. "How can they tell how many people come inside each day or how much money changes hands once the curtain is drawn? ... Not many customers ask for a receipt."

So why bother? Because there is a lot of money at stake. Prostitution was legalized a decade ago, but the government has been taking in very little in tax revenue from sex workers. Prostitution generates 865 million dollars in annual revenue, according to a The Central Bureau of Statistics estimate.

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