To the People

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

You Can't Get Ahead Even When You're Giving Head

Every so often I hear libertarians make the argument that we should legalize something so it can taxed and become a great source of revenue. Actually it's more of a liberal argument than a libertarian one, but I hear libertarians make it often enough.

Personally, I don't get it. Taxation and regulation can be just as onerous, burdensome and flat-out unfair as keeping it illegal. And since when should classical liberals be encouraging any new taxes?

Here's a case in point of why the legalize-it-to-tax-it argument is so rotten:
Tax authorities in Germany are poised to claim 50 per cent of the money that a teenage student earned for 'auctioning' her virginity because they claim it was 'tantamount to prostitution'.

Romanian-born Alina Percea [pictured left], who is a student in Germany, was paid £8,800 in cash for a weekend of sex with the Italian businessman after she auctioned her virginity online.

But tax officials in Berlin regard the 18-year-old's act as 'nothing more than prostitution'.

Prostitution is legal in Germany - but it is heavily taxed.

'It is not a moral standpoint but a fiscal one,' an official said. 'Prostitution is not an illegal act in Germany, but not paying tax on earned money is.

'Consequently we are assessing her case and it looks likely she will have to pay around half of the sum she gained.'
Wait, it gets better:
It also emerged that, because Alina earned so much in such a short time, she may even be liable for a hefty VAT bill too.

VAT in Germany works out to 19 per cent, meaning the sale of her virginity could land her with just over £3,000 in the end.
So, in other words, of the £8,800 she earned for selling her body, the government may claim £5,800. Read the whole story here.

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