HMRC come to decision about lap dancers
Did you know that, if you run out of money in a stripclub, you can buy vouchers with your credit card? Well, you can. And Judge David Demack has had to research the area thoroughly in a hearing at tax tribunal.
HMRC have said that these vouchers were taxable and the lap dancers of the world disagreed. Demack sided, surprisingly, the the tax office, much to the chagrin of the Secrets chain of gussety establishments.
Demack said the vouchers were known as "Secrets money" and the total amount of VAT at stake was more than £500,000 and now, dancers at Secrets clubs must now "strictly observe" a conduct code and how bosses published "important guidelines".
This "Code of Conduct for Table Dancers" contained more than 30 topics, including "dress code", "conduct while performing" and "dealing with customers". There's a section headlined "Zero Tolerance General Violations" and included "rudeness to any customer", "fighting" and "prostitution".
It says: "As a Dancer attending Secrets you will be expected to conduct yourself in a mature manner, at all times. Your sincerity, courtesy, thoughtfulness and friendliness should create a positive atmosphere in which customers can relax, which should encourage them to return again and again."
"You are requested to wear long evening dresses and thin high-heeled shoes. Hair, make-up and jewellery should always be of the highest standard. Whilst you are in the public areas of Secrets, you must put your clothing back on immediately after each performance and remain clothed until your next performance begins."
"It is customary for Dancers to expect to receive a customer's gratuity, per single track, of £10 for each topless dance and £20 for each fully nude dance. Dancers are requested to dance at the table where customers are seated. Dancers are also requested to promote themselves by performing their stage signature dance in order to make the customer more aware of each Dancer..."
"If a customer invites you to the table, for any long period of time, you are advised to make it clear that whilst you are sitting with them, as their guest, it is the usual practice for a customer to offer a gratuity for table accompaniment. The Management (purely as a suggestion) suggests that you should receive £250 per hour or part thereof, for the time that you are seated with a customer at their table. If the customer has agreed to give you a £250 gratuity for table company Secrets suggest that you give the customer value for money by including as many dances as they request."
Will the Judge frequent these clubs, just to make sure the rules are being adhered to?