Sweden’s tax collectors have added a new task to their list of official duties: looking at online strippers, strictly in order to assess their taxable assets, of course.
Under Swedish law, some half the money earned by women who strip via webcams is liable be claimed by the government as taxes. While prostitution is illegal, online stripping is a legal and taxable business activity.
“They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules,” said Dag Hardyson, head of the tax authority’s national project on Internet trade.
Because online cam websites are not easily searched by automated means, the government has been assigning its staff to look at each website manually.
Some 200 strippers have been so far investigated with an additional 300 still requiring further painstaking attention.
Hardyson stressed that the work is often beset with difficulty, citing problems finding the correct contact information: “We have to visit the companies behind the websites to get the information, then we have to work with the electronic wallets where the money is deposited.”
Unsurprisingly, personal information about the strippers themselves is a closely guarded secret, often to discourage would be suitors, but in this case providing a logistical foil for civil servants.
When asked about his feelings about appropriating the monies earned by the women, Hardyson replied: “I don’t think they have any costs really – almost 100% of what they earn is pocketed. Many have regular work and this is extra income.”
The hard working tax authority is set to provide the government with an estimated $4.8 million in additional tax revenues.
Sweden has some of the highest taxes in the world, and a government ever keen to spend them, so ensuring this crushing burden breaks the back of all equally is surely a priority.
Via the BBC.