Paying taxes

Everyone in the Netherlands who has income is obliged to pay tax. This includes sex workers.

The type of tax you have to pay will depend on your workplace. If you find it complicated to arrange taxes yourself, you can ask an accountant for help. Keep in mind that there are costs involved. For the correct tax return, you need to know your turnover and expenses.

There are three options for paying tax: as a self-employed person, via opting-in or as an employee. Below you can see which form of tax belongs to which workplace. If you have further questions, check out the website of the Tax Office, or contact us.

Tax form
Working from home
ZZP or Opting-in, salaried/wages
Privehuis (licensed brothel)
ZZP or Opting-in
ZZP or Opting-in

*In the Netherlands, a self-employed person is referred to as a ZZPer.

Wage employement

Some clubs allow you to work as an employee. The operator will then deduct taxes from your income. Do note that salaried work as a sex worker is rare.

Paying taxes as a self-employed person (ZZP)

A self-employed person is required to register themselves with the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). You will be issued a ZZP registration number, also referred to as a KvK number. The KvK registers you with the tax authorities. Once this has been done, you will receive a letter from the tax authorities telling you when you have to file your turnover tax and income tax return. This means you have to state how much you have earned.

As a self-employed person, you pay income tax once a year and report your turnover tax (VAT) to the Tax Administration every quarter.

Some things you buy for your work (with the exception of clothing and personal care) can be deductible from the Tax Office. This means you can deduct those expenses from your income before they are taxed.

Paying taxes via opting-in:

From 1 July 2008, the Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) introduced the opting-in scheme, also known as ‘working according to the conditions package’. Operators of clubs or private houses often opt for this. The tax on your income is then paid via the operator. Please note that this does not mean you are employed, but you will receive an income statement showing what you have earned and what has been remitted. You may still have to file your income tax return once a year.

The opting-in scheme requires the operator to comply with the following conditions around labour relations:

  • Sex workers decide for themselves:
    • when they work,
    • whether they refuse clients or acts,
    • which industry-standard clothing they wear,
    • whether they want to drink alcohol,
    • who gives them medical supervision,
    • when they receive their (net) income from the operator.
  • The operator must put all agreements about the sex worker’s income in writing. The sex worker decides when the operator should remit payment. With each payment, the operator must provide a written statement and an annual statement. Sometimes a client requests additional work that has not been agreed in advance. Reimbursements for these go in full to the sex worker.
  • The operator may not force the sex worker to do other work. The operator also cannot prohibit the sex worker from working for other operators. Furthermore, the operator may not impose fines on the sex worker. The operator must comply with privacy regulations.
  • The operator must provide (written) information about working conditions to the sex worker.

If the operator does not comply with these conditions, the Tax Administration assumes that a sex worker is employed by the operator and labour laws for a salaried role applies.

Related topics

Health & Sex

Your (sexual) health is important. Especially if you are a sex worker. It is important to be vaccinated and protected against hepatitis B.


Perhaps you have experienced something bad, in your private life or at home. It could have been a recent event or even some time ago. Has a client crossed your boundaries?


It can be difficult to deal with less or little money. This can potentially lead to debt or other money problems.