Taxable Blow jobs

Posted on August 30, 2013

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We are constantly accused of not paying tax, which in many countries is simply untrue @sweetEmilyJ wrote this great piece which presents the Canadian perspective. and has kindly given permission to republish it here. Sex work is work, paying tax is part of the deal.  You can find out more about Emily here.

 

Taxable Blow Jobs
How It Really Works
With all the attention recently around prostitution because of the Supreme Court of Canada judgements, there has been a lot of people expressing their opinions about the subject, and many opinion pieces in national newspapers. The articles themselves are usually biased drivel, but I always find it interesting to read the “user comments” below the articles to see what people are thinking. Of course there is all the expected for and against comments, some well-written, some ignorant. But what has caught my attention is the many comments about tax. People seem to be “for” prostitution, citing that we could tax it and make a crap load of money off it. Escort services already are taxable. I know there is a lot of misunderstanding about this, so I want to explain how it all works.

This topic is especially fresh in my mind, because after one year in the business, and tax season just passing, I have completed the process for the first time. I have actually learned a lot myself, and I wanted to share. After forking out a handsome chunk of change, it is frustrating to read comments from people who don’t understand how it works. To be clear, I have zero negative feelings about paying my taxes. I am actually very happy to be a contributing member of society and it helps to make me feel like I am operating a legitimate business here. I just want other people to understand this too.

Prostitutes are considered “self employed individuals”. Because right now no one can legally be employed by another person in this business, this is true for both independents and ladies who work for agencies or spas. (In the case of agencies/spas, technically the lady is considered independent, but pays the agency for their services)

Just like any other industry, we as escorts and self employed individuals, file our taxes as such. Ladies working in this business will file their taxes under the CRA Industry Code 819200 – Entertainment or Recreation: Other Personal Services: Escorts. Yup, there is an actual code. Escorting is not illegal. Plus, the CRA is not a law enforcement agency; they don’t care where your money came from, they just want their share.
Being self employed, we are allowed to have expense claims. This will include the costs of operating our incall location, telecommunications, websites, photographs, clothing, beauty expenses, safe sex supplies, travel, legal and accounting fees, and much more. Just like any other regular business, basically anything that enables us, or furthers our ability to make money, is an expense claim.
So, legally everything we make is claimed as income and income tax is paid on our gross earnings. Now, just like any other regular operating business (aside from the few exempt), escort services are HST taxable over the $30, 000 threshold. So, any escort annually grossing $30, 000 is obligated to now pay HST on their earnings. They will be registered with an GST/HST number and pay their dues accordingly to their earnings.
So, when you pay a donation to me, or a lady like myself, 13% here in Ontario is directly paid to the government in the form of HST, and the rest is then taxed as income.
Some will scoff and say “yeah.. right, like prostitutes pay their taxes!” I will scoff back and say that surely you don’t think that prostitutes are the only people who have ever avoided taxes. But I am not naive, and of course there are many who regularly do not pay tax. Many don’t know that they can, because the business is pushed so far to the edge of society that even people who work in it don’t understand their rights and obligations.
Ladies who fully understand the industry and laws, and consider what they do to be a real business pay their taxes. Ladies work full time, over a longer period of time, and have the desire to be an earner on paper, pay their taxes. Ladies who want to buy a car and a house pay their taxes. Ladies who want to be a legitimate contributing member of society pay their taxes.
Now, one might argue that it is insulting that the government agency who takes our money recognizes us as legitimate, but other agencies don’t. I might agree. One might also argue that because part of the money we have earned from prostitution is going to the government, that they, and indirectly the entire country, is profiting off the avails of prostitution. Interesting thought.
Of course, if prostitution was decriminalized and more normalized, there would be more understanding and possibly more regulation, and likely more tax revenue from it than there is now. But to say that we should “legalize & tax it” is a simply an incorrect and misguided comment. And especially frustrating to someone like myself who has paid their fair share.
Escort services are both HST and income taxable. Tell your friends.