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.


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

MORE FROM Toby Sterling

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

European Union Prostitution


Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •