The sale of sexual services is to be taxed like any other service. The Swedish Tax Agency said in a statement on Monday, June 26.
In Sweden, it is legal to sell sexual services but illegal to purchase them. Prostitution is considered a form of violence against women and is regulated through a unique legal framework known as the “Nordic Model.”
“We must comply with the tax laws that the parliament decides on. There is no room for interpretation of the law,” the Swedish Tax Agency said in a statement on its website. The agency noted that it should be taxed like any other sale of services.
“Anyone who has income from the sale of sexual services is legally obliged to declare the income in their tax return,” it adds.
The Nordic Model aims to address the power imbalance in prostitution and protect individuals vulnerable to exploitation. It includes supporting individuals who wish to exit the sex industry, offering them access to social services and assistance.
While the agency made it clear that tax obligations also include prostitutes, it additionally expresses sympathy and understanding. The statement adds that it understands that the prostitutes may find themselves in a vulnerable situation. It states, that it “may be difficult to comply with the laws on taxation given the criminal nature of the buyers’ actions”.
Prostitution falls within the jurisdiction of individual EU member states. This means each country decide how to regulate or criminalize the various related activities.