Amid budget cuts and falling revenues, the Dutch government has warned prostitutes who advertise their wares in the famous 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 legalised prostitution in 2000, but authorities are only now demanding that the prostitutes pay income tax.
Janneke Verheggen, spokeswoman for the country’s Tax Service, said now was the right time to “increase compliance”.
In a sign of the times, few prostitution advocates are protesting – though many are sceptical that tax law can be enforced in an all-cash industry.