When Bump and Grind Leads To Tax Evasion


A Norwegian appeals court has ruled that striptease is an art form and should therefore be exempt from value-added tax (VAT).

The owners of the Diamond Go Go Bar in Oslo had refused to pay VAT of 25% on entry fees as tax authorities demanded.

The local authority had taken the club to court over its refusal to pay tax.

Lawyers for the club's owners argued that striptease dancers were stage artists just like sword-swallowers and comedians and deserved the same status.

"Striptease, in the way it is practised in this case, is a form of dance combined with acting," the judges ruled, according to AFP news agency.

The court's ruling upholds an earlier verdict of May 2005.

"One can suspect there were moral scruples behind the tax authorities' claim since all forms of stage dance are free of value-added tax," Reuters news agency quoted the club owners' lawyer as saying.

The court ordered the state to cover the court costs of the owners of the Diamond Go Go Bar.

More here.

NEXT: Conserberaltarians

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Gee, it would be interesting to hear a comment from a former stripper. I wonder, have any of the regular commenters here ever been a stripper?

  2. I don’t see why stripping couldn’t be considered art. The fact that it’s sexual doesn’t mean that it can’t be art. Whether or not it’s good art is another question entirely.

  3. I have dated a couple of strippers, ahem, I mean artists. They were only putting themselves through school, of course….

    or was I?

    Anyway, they are all individuals and come accross as many things, however, artist was never one. Then again, if you can play country music and be considered an artist, fuck it. Why not strippers too?

  4. You must have looked far and wide for a grainy photo of a pole dancer that was chaste enough.

  5. I remember reading an article a couple of years ago that had to do with the influx of Russian strippers into Ireland (north?). Apparently they had a law there saying that immigrants could only displace local workers if they had a set of skills that the local workers did not have.
    SO, government agents had to go to the clubs and make sure these Russian girls were doing something the Irish girls wouldn’t or couldn’t do. Some job, huh?

  6. Solution. Strip and sword-swallow on stage at the same time. Now it is considered art, and I would throw down an extra buck or two on the runway per song. Problem solved.

  7. It’s Jennifer’s day off. She’s not awake yet.

  8. “Striptease, in the way it is practised in this case, is a form of dance combined with acting,” the judges ruled, according to AFP news agency.

    Strippers ACT? You mean they’re not hot for me?

  9. I am really starting to come around on this one:

    Lets see. 1) strippers do alot of drugs. B) strippers are only good at what they do in the first 10 years of their careers. And 3) stippers really like sex, and do alot of drugs.

    Sounds like artistic inclination to me.

  10. “Sword Swallowing”, so that’s what we’re calling it these days.

  11. Good lord! How late does she sleep?

  12. Highnumber: I’ve seen her sleep until 3 on her days off. Depends on how late she was up.
    And she told me she was going to go out and buy my presents today, so I expect she will be somewhat industrious, and not burn valuable daylight hours online…

  13. And people think I am joking when I say I enjoy the women’s interpretive dance theater to support women in the arts! BTW, I do give better tips to the “ink free” artists.

  14. Umm, this tax was on the “entrance fees” no? Doesn’t the “cover” go to the establishment, not the stripper? I can see if the stripper herself is claiming tax-exempt status for her wages and tips based on her artistic ability but the club is offering the seat for a price. I am not sure that a “cover” qualifies as art.

  15. “Then again, if you can play country music and be considered an artist [etc]”

    Don’t be such a hater! There’s some good country music. Of course, the good country music happens to be very depressing, but that’s why it’s good.

  16. Oh, for Christ’s sake. I was up at nine, and went shopping a couple hours later.

    The court is right: stripping is indeed an art form when it’s done right. On the other hand (damn myself for channeling Cathy Young) some strippers are total skanks. But pointing to them as proof that club dancing isn’t an art form is like pointing to Britney Spears as proof that singing isn’t, either.

  17. So, let me get this straight. I am no longer a drunk guy in a strip club, but a patron of the arts? SWEET!

  18. Finally!
    Kind of a let-down. No outrageous pronouncements, no name calling, just a quick sensible comment.
    This is what I’ve been waiting for?

  19. Kyle,

    Yes and you are not a drunk either, you are a connisour (or however you spell that fake word).

  20. I have only been to a strip club twice in my life, but each time I went, I learned something about myself, and about life.

    I cannot say the same for every time I visited the art museum.

    In fact, in my eyes, the art museum is a den of iniquity where women are objectified and the basest desires of men are catered to. Sometimes I would go there just to ogle the paintings of hot unclad chicks.

  21. Stevo Darkly,

    There is still room in the world for freaks like you.

  22. Life is an art form and should therefore be exempt from taxation.

  23. Life is a trade.

  24. Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.