Taxing Compliance Tales
Julian Lewis writes in the Age’s The Inescapable Crunch of Taxing Times
From prostitution to Pringles, tax officials want their bite.
GERMAN tax officials recently proved nothing is sacred when it comes to taxation, laying claim to half the $17,900 earned by a teenage student who auctioned off her virginity last month to an Italian businessman who paid cash for a weekend of sex.
It was not even a moral standpoint, said an official in Berlin, “but a fiscal one”, as they regarded the 18-year-old’s act as prostitution — which is not illegal in Germany but is heavily taxed.
Although the Romanian-born student’s visa allowed her to work in Germany for 90 days — even as a prostitute — one tax expert admitted that “she would have been better keeping quiet about this strange transaction”.
She may also be liable for a GST bill, which in Germany works out to 19 per cent, resulting in her only making about $6100 from the deal.