Taxing times for Amsterdam prostitutes

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The prostitutes of Amsterdam have been told to expect a visit from a tax inspector in 2011. From this year they have to start paying tax, Amsterdam-based daily Het Parool reports.

The inspectors will be asking how many clients the prostitutes have a day and what their turnover is. The move brings an end to the prostitutes’ traditional tax-free status.

In the past, prostitutes were primarily seen as victims of traffickers or pimps who shouldn’t face further exploitation by the tax office. But from this year they will be treated like any other business and expected to pay tax.

Prostitutes in Amsterdam received a letter from the tax service this week informing them that “various aspects of your business” will be investigated, such as “prices, rosters, planning and scheduling”.

Prostitution has long been tolerated in the Netherlands, but was fully legalised in 2000, when a permit system was introduced. At the same time, the Amsterdam authorities have moved to restrict prostitution in the city centre red light district and take it out of the hands of organised crime.



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