Friday, March 23, 2007

The VAT Implications of Lap Dancing

Never let it be said that HMRC does not truly understand the "human condition"; HMRC knows full well that we are mortal, and that humans take their pleasures in many forms.

It goes without saying, that all of these pleasures must be taxed.

Today a dispute between Spearmint Rhino (a chain of lap dancing clubs) and HMRC, over VAT, has finally been settled. HMRC had attempted to levy VAT on Spearmint Rhino for the earnings of its dancers.

However, Spearmint Rhino has won its High Court appeal against that ruling.

This means that the lap dancers themselves, must pay the VAT.

David Milne QC, who represented Spearmint Rhino, argued that the club should not pay because it was the dancer and not the club that provided the services.

Self-employed dancers pay to use its facilities and are paid by the clients.

A statement from HM Revenue and Customs said:

"HMRC will consider the High Court's decision carefully before deciding what further action to take, including whether to appeal."

Court of Appeal judge, Lord Justice Ward, described the club's aim in an earlier case as "to tease and not to satisfy".

Quite how the HMRC intend to quantify each dancer's earnings, is of course another story.

Suggestions welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Gordon Bennet, its true then.
    They really would slap a tax on your fanny if they thought they could get away with it.