Escort told to pay £120,000 in unpaid tax on earnings or go to jail
From today’s Telegraph: A student who began working as a high-class escort to fund her master’s degree has been ordered to repay more than £174,000 in unpaid tax and costs or go to jail.
Donna Asutaits, 30, earned up to £1,000 a night and received expensive jewellery from some of her wealthy businessman clients. She began working as an escort at the age of 22 to finance her studies at the University of Westminster in London, making more than £300,000 without paying any tax.
At a proceeds of crime hearing at Southwark Crown Court in London, Judge Peter Testar made an order under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act for her to repay £120,000 owed in tax plus £54,243 in costs. At an earlier hearing, the court was told that in 2007, the “naive” student was able to put down a £110,000 deposit on a £360,000 apartment in London’s upmarket Knightsbridge area.
Here’s the deal, people who earn money should pay tax on that income and escorts are not exempt from this, HMRC are sending a very public message to escorts that they need to pay their taxes.
At the same time Donna is a very soft target. There are still large companies and wealthy individuals who dodge tax by slipping through the cracks – and these cracks need to be closed up.
The former HMRC boss Dave Hartnett is now working for tax advisers Deloitte, coming up with new ways for the wealthy to avoid paying tax.