Glasgow, UK, October 21, 2011 — Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has outlined a proposal to add VAT charges to Cosmetic Surgery procedures. At present, only minor beauty treatments carried out in clinics, such as chemical peels and Botox, are subject to VAT. Guidelines drafted by HMRC will mean that more invasive procedures will also be subject to the 20% tax.
The Cosmetic Surgeon carrying out the procedure will be expected to pass on the VAT to the client, which could mean a price rise of around 1,000 for the average breast enlargement surgery. A spokesman from HMRC called this a clarification of existing rules, confirming that VAT “is not charged on surgery for medical reasons, and is charged for surgery for aesthetic reasons”. Patients seeking treatment would only be able to escape VAT if they can demonstrate that they require the procedure for therapeutic reasons.
Experts are concerned that patients could be forced to seek risky treatments with an unlicensed Cosmetic Surgeon at a “backstreet clinic” or go abroad for treatment at a clinic which may not meet British standards.
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