AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ When Helena began working at a prominent bordello, she was told she'd be a natural. The charming, almond-eyed beauty knew she'd make a bundle _ all cash, no questions asked.

For a year now, hiding behind a fake name, she claims to have raked in as much as $10,000 a month, almost five times what she earned in her old job in a bank _ and all of it untraceable and tax-free. But not for long.

Parliament is expected to pass legislation that would put the Netherlands' brothels on the tax rolls. As of next year, most of the country's 30,000 prostitutes would have to report their earnings and pay taxes to authorities no longer willing to look the other way.

On the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam's famed red light district, there is a mixture of resignation and resentment.

``You got rid of the pimps, but you now have the tax people after you,'' said a woman at the Prostitution Information Center. Like most prostitutes and ex-prostitutes who spoke to The Associated Press, she gave only her first name, Miriam.

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, with 18 the minimum age to work in the sex industry. Brothels, though illegal, have been tolerated as long as they follow health and fire codes.

While the government has required brothel workers to hand over the 17.5 percent value-added tax they must charge their johns, very few have actually done so.

By legalizing bordellos, the government would reap a portion of the profits from the Dutch sex industry which, excluding the pornography sector, generates more than $500 million a year.

Supporters of the tax crackdown say it will mean new transparency in bordellos' shady operations; give police more power to clamp down on those involved in drugs or weapons trafficking; and give prostitutes greater legal protection and rights.

The new law would not affect the 15 percent of Dutch prostitutes who work on the streets, but those in brothels would have to give their employers proper working documents and pay income taxes.

``A prostitute will work as any other employee who works for a company,'' Justice Ministry spokesman Wijnand Stevens said.

Helena said she's willing to play by the rules.

``Everyone has to pay taxes. Why not us?'' she said, sitting in the lounge of Yab Yum, the prestigious club where she works.

``In the past, the money was (illegitimate) and you couldn't do anything with it,'' she said. ``When I pay taxes, I can have a bank account, credit cards, a loan for a mortgage ... be a normal citizen.''

Tax-paying prostitutes also would be able to take advantage of the breaks and loopholes that ordinary citizens enjoy.

Prosex, an accounting office that opened recently to give prostitutes tax advice, helps them register as self-employed ``entrepreneurs'' eligible for various deductions.

``Their clothes, mobile phones, travel expenses, even visits to the hairdresser can be written off as business costs,'' Prosex director Han Brugmans said. As entrepreneurs, he said, about $11,500 of their annual income would be considered tax-free.

Ahead of the legislation, Yab Yum already has cut a deal with local tax authorities, stipulating that the club's 55 women will pay taxes as of Jan. 1, 1998. In return, authorities have agreed not to pursue any back taxes.

But the deal has drawbacks for some _ like Mireille, who started working at Yab Yum three weeks ago. She's told her family that she works in a discotheque.

``I don't want to be known or registered as being a prostitute,'' she said. At 23, she hopes to return to school eventually.

The Red Thread, a prostitutes' rights group, says they fear the new regulations would strip them of both income and anonymity.

``If I go into a brothel today and tell the women the tax inspector is coming, they will flee in a minute,'' said Andre van Dorst of the Dutch brothel owners' union.

Critics say the new rules will drive prostitutes further underground, prompting more to operate via newspaper ads or hotlines. The Justice Ministry says simply that prostitutes who don't file their returns will be dealt with like any other tax evader.

``It's a big business,'' Mariska Majoor, a former prostitute, said. ``For the tax people and the government, it's just more money in their pockets. They want their share and it has nothing to do with giving recognition to prostitutes.''