This one is for you, ladies of the night.
A 2005 audit by the New York Division of Taxation found gentlemen’s club Nite Moves owed over $125,000 in sales tax on door admissions and private lap dance sales. The club argued that dances are a performance, not a taxable “service.” We’ll leave that one alone.
A New York State appellate court ruled last Thursday that private lap dances are not a dramatic or musical art performance, despite Nite Moves’ claims to the contrary. It is unclear whether any state taxation authorities partook in said private lap dances to make this determination.
In this case, the burden of proof rested on the club, who did not provide enough evidence to satisfy their claim, according to the five judge panel that made the ruling. “In short, petitioner was denied the requested relief due not to the nature of its business but, rather, because of the inadequacy of its proof,” they said.
The club’s lawyer, Andrew McCullough, plans to appeal the decision. “We brought in the foremost expert in the field,” he said. “She is the one in this country who has made a complete and detailed study of the art of exotic dance and if they are not going to believe her I don’t know who you believe.”
That expert had not actually seen Nite Moves’ dancers but other, similar exotic performances. As any connoisseur of naked gyrating women knows, not all naked gyrating is created equal.
Tax laws in New York State require sales taxes to be collected and paid on admission to or the use of any place of amusement except for dramatic or musical arts performances.
Maybe if the strippers wore historical costumes or mime makeup they’d have a case.
Hey, Nite Moves, you really should have called the Tax Domme, she knows all about this stuff.
New York court rules private lap dances not tax exempt [Reuters]