Court mulls sex tax for tantra massage
A German court is busying itself with the question of whether a full-body tantra massage constitutes a sexual service and is therefore taxable.
A masseuse in the southern German city of Stuttgart has lodged an appeal after tax authorities said her tantra massage was a sexual service - and therefore liable to more tax.
She claims her comprehensive full-body massage is not intended to arouse her clients, but to serve their holistic well-being as espoused in the tantric teachings.
It should therefore not be liable to tax payments, she argued. In Germany, prostitution is legal and is liable to an extra tax.
The court, which rejected the woman's earlier appeal last autumn, must now decide whether tantra massages are sexual or could be classed under "well-being" and therefore "other services" for tax purposes.
A statement by the Stuttgart Administrative Court said its initial ruling found the massages came under the German "entertainment tax law" which states that the "intentional granting of the opportunity for sexual amusement in bordellos, bars, saunas, nudist, swinger clubs and similar establishments" is subject to the extra tax.
The court began hearing her appeal on Thursday afternoon.
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