A quiet night in Amersterdam's red light district.

A new trick: Dutch taxman hunting prostitutes

Prostitutes in the famed windows of Amsterdam's red light can expect a business-only visit from the government


Toby Sterling
January 12, 2011 5:06PM (UTC)

Amid budget cuts and falling revenues, the Dutch government has warned prostitutes who advertise their wares in the famed windows of Amsterdam's red light district to expect a business-only visit from the taxman.

Prostitution has flourished in Amsterdam since the 1600s, when the Netherlands was a major naval power and sailors swaggered into the city's port looking for a good time. The country legalized prostitution in 2000, but authorities are only now demanding prostitutes pay income tax.

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Janneke Verheggen, spokeswoman for the country's Tax Service, said now is the right time to "increase compliance."

In a sign of the times, few prostitution advocates are protesting -- though many are skeptical tax law can be enforced in an all-cash industry.


Toby Sterling

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European Union Prostitution

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