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Monday, April 13, 2009

Sweden to Tax Camgirls

After being tipped-off by Dutch authorities, Swedish officials are now looking into camgirls' failure to pay taxes. "Camgirls" are the female performers who appear online, via webcams, and strip and/or perform sexual acts. They are generally paid via credit card or online payment services, such as PayPal. Swedish authorities say they are currently investigating 200 known online sex workers, but the investigation will likely widen to include some 500 or more.

While prostitution is illegal in Sweden, performing on webcams is not, however the performers must still pay taxes as though it were a "real" job. And that may be the problem: "They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules," the head of the national authority for the project told the BBC.

The investigation is not limited to strippers; the authority is investigating several forms of online jobs which generate revenue, including online poker and fake trader locations. Again, not all of these jobs are illegal, but they are taxable - as much as 1/2 their gross income, in fact! The estimated loss in tax revenue is estimated to be over $US3 million annual.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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