Stripteases in Norway Tax-Free

December 5, 2006

A bar in Oslo, Norway won tax-exempt status for its dancers that perform stripteases because of the dance’s artistic merit.

Striptease, in the way it is practiced in this case, is a form of dance combined with acting which compares to other stage acts that are exempt from VAT in Norway, three judges ruled unanimously.

The verdict upheld a May 2005 ruling of a district court in favor of Den Blue Engel (The Blue Angel), a company that runs the Diamond Go Go Bar in Oslo, which refused to pay 25% tax on entry fees to the club demanded by Norwegian tax authorities.

The judges in this case made a bad ruling. Stripteases are an end-user service so should be taxed like all other services. It makes no difference that other similar art forms are tax-exempt—they should be taxed too.

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