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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:43 am 
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Self-declared witches in Romania are preparing to curse the country's rulers publicly for taxing their profession under an amended labour law.
Poisonous mandrake plants are due to be hurled into the River Danube and queen witch Bratara Buzea has devised a spell involving cat dung and a dead dog.
Income tax of 16% and health and pension payments have been imposed.
It was not immediately clear how car valets and driving instructors, also taxed for the first time, would react.
Their professions, along with those of witch, astrologer, fortune teller and embalmer, were not listed in the previous labour code, and therefore not subject to tax.
But now they have been classified as self-employed, as part of the cash-strapped government's push to collect more revenue and crack down on tax evasion.
Witchcraft, widely regarded in Europe as superstition, continues to fascinate some Romanians.
Accusations of sorcery have arisen in politics, the legal system and other areas of public life in recent years.
'Recognition at last'
Alisia, one of a dozen witches planning to hurl mandrake plants to bring "evil" on Romania's president and government, said her income was so small, the idea of taxing it was "foolish".
"The lawmakers don't look at themselves, at how much they make, their tricks," she told the Associated Press news agency.
"They steal and they come to us asking us to put spells on their enemies," she said.
Payments to witches and astrologers are usually made in cash and are relatively small at up to 30 lei (£6, 7 euros, $9) per consultation, AP reports.
Ms Buzea, 63, who was imprisoned in 1977 for witchcraft under the Ceausescu regime, gave a warning that her curses always worked.
"We do harm to those who harm us. They want to take the country out of this crisis using us? They should get us out of the crisis because they brought us into it."
But one witch saw a silver lining to the new law.
"It means that our magic gifts are recognised and I can open my own practice," Mihaela Minca said.


hard to believe taxing these professions will bring in a substantial amount of money. I'm curious if the curses will work.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:59 am 
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I wonder what the hookers would do if they were taxed?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:01 am 
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Hopwin wrote:
I wonder what the hookers would do if they were taxed?

Start faking it? Oh wait...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:03 am 
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Whoa! I totally traveled through time and posted ahead of myself!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:59 am 
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Stop reporting their tips?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:10 am 
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Kirra wrote:

hard to believe taxing these professions will bring in a substantial amount of money.

There're lots of witches in Romania.


Kirra wrote:
I'm curious if the curses will work.

Reason.com wrote:
The president of Romania, Traian Basescu, is already highly superstitious and wears purple on Thursdays because, by invoking the "violet flame," the president and other government officials believe they are warding off evil spirits and spells.


I'm guessing they believe it will...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Micheal wrote:
Stop reporting their tips?

But everything is always just the tip with hookers.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Hopwin wrote:
Micheal wrote:
Stop reporting their tips?

But everything is always just the tip with hookers.


Obviously, you're "dating" the wrong hookers. :P

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:00 pm 
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Lots of witches in Romania... Interesting. I wonder if they sell services like...

Curses $50 each, or 3 for $125

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:06 am 
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Cruciatus or Avada Kedavra?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:52 pm 
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considering most witches follow the rules of 3, it would mean the cost would depend on the act, rather than per act.

Want your husband to come down with a flu? $50! Want your boss to give you a raise? $20! Want your rival to resemble golum? $1000!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:36 am 
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Hopwin wrote:
I wonder what the hookers would do if they were taxed?

Ask a stupid question...

Apparently they would pay it gladly: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41034395/ns ... ews-europe
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AMSTERDAM — Workers in the world's oldest profession are about to get a lesson in the harsh reality of Europe's new age of austerity.

The Dutch government has warned prostitutes who advertise their wares in the famed windows of Amsterdam's red light district to expect a business-only visit from the taxman.

Prostitution has flourished in Amsterdam since the 1600s, when the Netherlands was a major naval power and sailors swaggered into the port looking for a good time. The country legalized the practice a decade ago, but authorities are only now getting around to looking to sex workers for taxes.

"We began at the larger places, the brothels, so now we're moving on to the window landlords and the ladies," said Janneke Verheggen, spokeswoman for the country's Tax Service.

The move is meeting with little formal opposition, even among prostitutes — though some are skeptical it can be enforced. But it marks yet another shift away from the permissive attitudes that once prevailed in the Netherlands.

"It's a good thing that they're doing this," said Samantha, a statuesque blond Dutchwoman in a white leather dress who offers her services from behind one of the hundreds of red-curtained windows in the heart of the city's ancient center.

"It's a job like any other and we should pay taxes," she said.

Advertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoicesShe said she has been paying her share for years and felt she was competing on unequal terms with women who didn't, many of them immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Although the Netherlands has weathered the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis better than many countries, the government ran a deficit of 6 percent in 2010 and is cutting spending and hiking taxes in hopes of balancing the budget by 2015.

Prostitutes were told they would be audited in typically bureaucratic fashion, with a notice addressed "to landlords and window prostitutes in Amsterdam" published last week in the city's main newspaper.

"Agents of the Tax Service will walk through various elements of your business administration with you, such as prices, staffing, agendas and calendars," the notice said.

"The facts will be used at a later date in reviewing your returns."

Though the Dutch state is not going to fill its coffers just by squeezing prostitutes, the sex trade is a serious industry that went almost entirely untaxed until legalization.

The Central Bureau of Statistics estimates prostitution generates €660 million ($865 million) in annual turnover, or a little less than €50 ($65) per person in a country of 16 million — though many customers are tourists.

Under Dutch law, prostitutes should be charging 19 percent sales tax on each transaction. Customers typically pay €50 ($65) for a 15 minute session. In addition, after-expense profits are personal income, taxed at anywhere from 33 percent for someone making less than €18,000 ($23,000) per year to 52 percent for people making more than €54,000 ($70,000).

Sex workers, who are almost all women, can fall beyond both ends of that range.

Nobody knows exactly how many prostitutes there are or how many of them pay tax, since legal ones are registered as one-women businesses, not brothels. But an Amsterdam-chartered study in October estimated there are slightly fewer than 8,000 prostitutes of all kinds in the city, and 3,000 working behind windows. An industry think-tank called the SOR Institute believes around 40 percent of window prostitutes already pay some income tax.

"It's more all the time — though of course there are some sex workers who refuse," says Mariska Majoor, a former prostitute who now runs an information center in the district.

"Their attitude is, we are stigmatized, made to feel that we are not part of society, we have trouble in getting a bank account — why should we pay taxes?"

Advertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoicesMetje Blaak, who heads a prostitute's labor union called The Red Thread, said she endorses taxation, though it will hurt businesswomen already struggling to pay rent.

"It's not that they're trying to terrorize us," she said.

"They do everything under the guise of preventing human trafficking, but the real reason is simply a desire to keep things under control."

In 2008 the city of Amsterdam began shuttering a third of its brothels, saying it wanted to combat organized crime, reduce abuse of prostitutes, and improve the city's image.

Bartho Boer, spokesman for the mayor, said the city did not request the tax crackdown, but supports it. He said the city is not seeking to shed its anything-goes image, just tone it down a bit.

"This helps against human trafficking and coercion," he said. "It furthers government oversight."

Verheggen, of the Tax Service, said tax agents are not connected with police or immigration authorities but will inform them if they see obviously illegal situations.

Experts are divided as to how many prostitutes are exploited by pimps, but they agree most of the women behind windows are now working legally: Their passports are checked daily by landlords who don't want to risk losing their increasingly scarce and valuable operating licenses.

But Samantha said the industry by its nature can never be problem-free — or fully taxed.

"How can they tell how many people come inside each day or how much money changes hands once the curtain is drawn?" she said.

"Not many customers ask for a receipt."


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:30 pm 
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I laugh at such primitive, irrational, and unscientific beliefs from a nation's leaders...oh wait.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:46 am 
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Lydiaa wrote:
considering most witches follow the rules of 3, it would mean the cost would depend on the act, rather than per act.


I don't know that "Romanian Witches" are Wiccans, per se. It likely has more in common with Roma (gypsy) traditions, but I'm just guessing.

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