Rubbed up the wrong way

Hmrc_is_now_well_versed_in_the_skills_ofTS never misses the opportunity to have a childish giggle, so we whooped with delight when we saw HMRC was hammering a massage parlour over its VAT bill at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The court documents are a masterpiece of prim understatement: ‘Salon 24 trades as a massage parlour. The services that masseuses provide are of a different nature from pure massage. The services, if not those of prostitution, are akin to it,’ it says. It also gives a pretty good description of the way the, ahem, ‘services’ worked, including the mention of a ‘fetish room’.

The parlour wanted to argue that car parking and other perks it offered to the masseuses were exempt from VAT, that they were not part of the business activity but just rights to land that they held. In an unexpected blow, the court told them to stick it.

Not a happy finish for the Salon.

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