The British HM Revenue and Customs is planning to impose a tax on cosmetic surgeries by slapping VAT on any artificial enhancements and procedures. According to the new guidelines by the department responsible for collecting UK’s taxes, doctors performing more invasive procedures will have to register for VAT and pass the charge on to their patients. The guidelines suggest that patients having such cosmetic procedures will have to pay the tax unless they can persuade the doctor that the operation is being carried out for “therapeutic” reasons. Although the move is being considered to help plug the deficit in Britain’s public finances, but Fazel Fatah, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), said that this could harm many patients.
The government in the UK seeks to hasten the movement of cosmetic surgery business out of the country it seems. That will likely be the effect of the planned extension of the VAT tax to cosmetic surgery. It is already less expensive for British citizens to leave the country for their cosmetic surgery. The care in most cases is not equivalent. The reason to consider it just got 20% more persuasive however. That is a huge tax!
Here in the US, there are States that have implemented cosmetic surgery taxes. New Jersey did so not long ago. Consequences seen as loss in “migrating business” occurred when the tax amounted to hundreds. At 20%, the tax in the UK amounts to thousands of pounds difference. It should be all the more effective in chasing the business away. Then the government will collect even less tax revenue on the businesses they destroy.
I wonder if the NHS covers the complications of surgery performed in other countries on British citizens? They might be losing even more money if this is the case on managing complications that this new tax encouraged financially.
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*