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Issue:- Saturday, 5 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 6.

Tax dodging club owners to be stripped of profits

ADULT club owners and adult entertainers in the North West who don't pay their taxes are being targeted by a new, UK wide taskforce launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The rise of the internet has caused a drastic increase in online escort agencies and HMRC estimated, in 2010, that the adult entertainment industry could be worth up to £5 billion. For the 1st time in this sector, the taskforce will target the traders and entertainers, some of whom earn thousands of pounds a day, working in this industry. Those who continue to operate in the hidden economy and not register with HMRC for VAT, Income Tax and PAYE are being targeted. Jim Stevenson, Head of HMRC Taskforces, said:- "Large numbers of people working in this industry are paying the Tax they owe and they don't have anything to worry about. The people being targeted by this taskforce have no intention of playing by the rules, and we won't tolerate this. No industry is safe where Tax evasion is concerned; we won't stop tracking people down and taking back what they owe."

More than 140 taskforces have been launched since 2011, collecting more than £404 million that goes towards funding vital public services. This includes:- £109 million brought in during the 1st 6 months of this financial year (2015/2016).

Currently here at Southport and Mersey Reporter are looking into some aspects of this industry, from a media point of view. We have found people don't often like talking about working in the adult industry, openly, in public. That has made us think, is the UK prudish about the adult industry, thus making it easy for criminals to take advantage?

But oddly critics of these types of operations are now saying:- "If the adult industry, in all areas became fully legal, it would make it easier to Tax. Plus this would also make it safer for those in the industry."

1 of the charities we have recently talked also said:- "The words 'adult industry' are characterized by major taboos. This is an underground world. Gaining access to some parts of the community is a challenging and often risky practice. In reality, if we treat those within it with respect and dignity, the person behind the label, says a Pole Dancer, it would help. Sadly, even though pole dancing is getting wider respect with law makers, it is often seen as just dirty slut dancing. It's understandable why people keep it hidden that they are in that industry! But in reality, in pole dancing for example, that view is often far from being correct. In this case the glitterati of pole dancing are determined to redefine the dance as 'sport'. We should help people to do this, as it is just as skilful as any form of dance, if not more demanding on the physical ability and strength of a dancer. Only when we stop seeing the 'adult industry' in a dirty way, will that world open up. It could be a massive revenue generator as well as making it safer, should that happen! Quite how many people hide income due to not wanting a label is unknown..."

Do you agree, that the industry, including or excluding prostitution, should be made fully legal and more open? Please send us your emails with your views on this topic to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com. Let us know what you think! If you are in the adult industry and need help and advice about it, see:- SAAFE, BeyondTheStreets also this SupprortLine, all 3 might help you find out what support you can get and from whom. Also if you know someone who is dodging Tax, you can tell the HMRC by calling the Customs Hotline on:- 0800 59 5000.

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