Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Adventures In Alternative, Community and Private Currencies: Strip Club Edition

The classification of the strippers as therapists is not what caught my eye.
(file under: lines I've never previously typed)
From Consumerist:

Strip Club Claimed Dancers Were Therapists To Skirt $3.1M In State Taxes
It’s not uncommon for companies to try to finesse their way out of a hefty tax bill, but one Manhattan strip club tried a unique excuse when attempting to skirt $3.1 million in state taxes: Its dancers were providing therapy to customers, and not just entertainment.

The New York Daily News reports that the owners of the Penthouse Executive Club unsuccessfully argued to a state tax appeals tribunal that it shouldn’t have to pay taxes because its dancers proved patrons non-taxable services akin to a massage therapist or sex therapist.

The club’s tax troubles go back several years when an audit for 2010 and 2011 found that the company neglected to pay taxes on its sale of in-house currency. The currency, dubbed “executive dollars,” is purchased by patrons when they enter and can be used to tip waitresses or pay for dances.

The state’s Department of Taxation and Finance determined that the currency was similar to an admission charge and subject to taxes. As a result, an audit determined the club needed to pay taxes on an estimated $24.8 million in executive dollar sales.

The club, however, wasn’t okay with this bill and challenged it. A judge ordered the owners to pay the taxes....MORE
I'll be exploring the concept of remunerating service providers with "executive dollars". In the meantime here are some ideas in previous posts to get the ball rolling:

So You Want to Invent Your Own Currency
The Genius of Wynne Godley: "Maastricht and All That"
European Towns Creating Own Currencies
Alternative, Community and Private Currencies
Keep it Local: Oxford Introduces Its Own Money
Infographic: Past, Present and Future Money (topologies, powers, trends)
Bacon as Currency: Testing the Limits of What It Can Buy