Tax lawyers are lower than snake's belly and they managed in the High Court on Friday to prevent the notorious London based Spearmint Rhino Gentleman's Club dancing in your lap club from paying Value Added Tax (VAT) on it's dancers (?) earnings. David Milne QC representing Spearmint Rhino argued (succesfully) that the club should not pay because it was the dancer and not the club that provided the services.
This puts the burden for paying on the lap dancers to pay VAT, but if self employed they will have to earn £60,000 a year before they can be VAT registered traders.
Sleazoid Milne QC made the unlikely and comical comparison of lap dancers with concession shops at Airports. Buy a coffee, a camera or a condom at the last minute at Heathrow and you pay the shop not BAA.
Retailers paid for the "privilege of trading in the lucrative departure area" just as the dancers pay for the use of booths at the clubs. Which is total and utter bollocks, retailers at a BAA airport simply pay a rent, fixed in advance under a legal written contract, they maintainn paper records of all their receipts, prepare accounts....
The original ruling was made on the basis that the dancers were the agents of Spearmint Rhino because of the degree of control the club has over them through their Dance Performance Licences. (You Tube Video here) Adult stuff.
Plainly dancers in your lap are employees, and are also covered by HSE and other employment legislation (Sex, Equality etc., pension rights ).... unless they have detailed , agreed in advance, legal contracts, which is hardly the stock in trade of the nameless prickteasers .. (Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Ward described the club's aim in an earlier case as "to tease and not to satisfy" - a man with some experience it seems.) more likely illegal Albanians and Bulgarians under the watchful eye of a pimp... although SR claim "To audition and work at Spearmint Rhino you must provide identification and a current proof of address in the UK." yeah , sure. They also add..
Dancers are considered Independent Contractors by both Spearmint Rhino and the Inland Revenue. As a Spearmint Rhino dancer, you will be liable for any and all taxation payments thereof.SR claimed Dance Performance Licences requires the dancers to try to maximise sales and entertainment; pay damages to the club if they miss a session that they have booked and are subject to a code of conduct governing their contact with the clients.
So you are also paying VAT (remember this when you stuff the knickers with your grubby fivers of a bored Post Graduate student trying to pay the rent.Ho.Ho.Ho.) for a lap dancer, but you won't pay VAT say on children's clothing, food, repairs to Listed Buildings, books, newspapers, pharmaceuticals....
...and since Wednesday after the Chancellor sat down and revealed details of his new Remote Gambling Duty of 15%, you will NOT pay VAT on any gambling you may do on the Internet with a UK based "Remote Gambling " company.
One of the most insane, unreasonable tax reliefs one can imagine.
Meanwhile as HMRC are worrying themselves about how much the retreived banknotes and IOU's from the pudenda of dancers in your lap, £400Mn. a month is disapperaing in Carousel fraud. Onbe might wonder just how many visits it required the HMRC enforcement staff to investigate exactly how the clubs operate - strictly undercovers you understand.