Norwich lap dancing club loses tax dispute

A director of a lap dancing club has lost his battle with HM Revenue and Customs to exempt the hiring of private booths from VAT.

Sugar & Spice club in Norwich told a tax tribunal that VAT should not be added to money generated from the supply of booths used by dancers.

The club argued it provided an "exempt supply of land" for an agreed duration.

But a two-member tribunal panel concluded that VAT should be added to monies collected at the venue.

The tribunal was told that most dancers performing in private booths at the club made at least £100 a night - with popular performers earning more than £1,500 in an evening.

'Live nude shows'

Tribunal judge Charles Hellier explained the operation of the club in a written ruling, published on a legal website, following a hearing in Norwich in December.

Club director Darren Crawford, who told the tribunal that he was a film actor and producer who spent significant spells of time in the USA, had explained how dancers performed on a stage and in booths.

Judge Hellier said "live nude, semi-nude or bikini-clad" dance entertainment was provided at the venue.

The dispute centred on whether VAT should be added to money generated from the supply of private booths used by dancers - thereby increasing the costs.

HM Revenue and Customs argued that it should, the company that owns the club, Dazmonda, said it should not.

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