Lap Dance Tax Status

Published July 10, 2011

Lap-dancing is not necessarily art, a New York state court ruled recently.

The state of New York collects sales taxes on the price paid for admission to places of “amusement” unless the amusements involved are “dramatic or musical arts performances.”

The state alleged in the lawsuit a strip club known as “Nite Moves,” near Albany, is liable for $125,000 in unpaid sales taxes because exotic dances and lap dances performed at the club are not “dramatic.”

The club responded with expert testimony that the dancing was artistic, but the court found this evidence was inadequate. The club’s expert had not seen the actual lap dances at Nite Moves, just lap dances filmed at other clubs.

The court did not reject the argument on its merits. So the argument that lap dancing is an art is still an open question.

Source: Reuters, “New York court rules private lap dances not tax exempt,” June 10, 2011 via lowering the bar