Belgian Sex Shop Owner Loses Bid for Tax Break

(CN) – The owner of a sex shop in Belgium can’t get a discounted tax rate on income by classifying his private video screening rooms as public, the EU high court ruled.

     The owner of the Erotic Center in Bruges claimed that his “cubicle cinema” fell under a statute calling for a reduced 6 percent tax rate under Belgian value added tax (VAT) law for “admissions to a cinema.”
     The Belgian tax authority disagreed and the Court of Justice upheld its decision, ruling that customers who view films from private rooms can’t receive the same tax breaks applicable to regular cinema admissions.     
     The Luxembourg court ruled that the discount only applies to screenings that are available to member of the public who pay an admissions fee for the right “to enjoy cultural and entertainment services,” according to an EU press release.
     The sex shop is taxed at the rate for “automated recreation devices” at 21 percent, the ruling states.

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