Money gained from prostitution is not income, but a form of damages or compensation to women, who suffer because they have to sell themselves. This was the opinion handed down in mid January by the Italian tax commission, a court that deals with tax litigation. Consequently prostitutes do not have to pay income tax.

When a retired prostitute in Milan received a tax demand, based on her ownership of six flats in Milan and on the island of Corsica, she decided that, rather than pay the 200,000 that was being demanded, she would pay a lawyer to fight the claim.

The lawyer was able to prove that his client had worked as a prostitute for 20 years and he won the case. There are as many as 70,000 prostitutes in Italy who could benefit from the ruling.