Category Archives: economy

New Plastic Surgery Tax Stresses UK Plastic Surgeons

plastic surgery taxPlastic surgeons in the UK worry that a review of tax codes may mean new taxes for cosmetic surgeries, according to WebMD.

Currently in the UK, a plastic surgery tax only exists on non-surgical treatments like Botox, fillers and laser treatments, a fact that plastic surgeons take no issue with. (In the UK, a VAT tax  or “Value Added Tax” is somewhat similar to sales tax in the US in that consumers must pay it on top of the price for a good or elective service.)

Lawmakers in the UK, though, may soon examining whether a plastic surgery tax should apply to elective cosmetic surgeries, like breast augmentation. In the US, patients already pay sales tax on elective plastic surgeries, but not medically-necessary procedures, which are often billed through insurance.

Some plastic surgeons in the UK are beginning to speak out against a possible review in the application of VAT, which may cause patients to have to pay a plastic surgery tax when they previously did not need to.

Current laws regarding VAT tax stipulate that procedures are tax exempt when the “protection, maintenance or restoration” of health is the main goal. A handful of plastic surgeons argue that changing any of these tax laws could put many patient’s surgical desires in a gray area.

Former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. Douglas McGeorge says the common image of plastic surgery is mega-celebrities casually undergoing elective procedures. Rather, he argues, it is members of the general public who choose plastic surgery to improve small aspects of themselves for a positive result.

McGeorge uses the image of an older worker undergoing facial rejuvenation to help make themselves more competitive in the workplace. He sees the difficulty in distinguishing between what is a functional improvement and what is purely cosmetic.

In response to the worry of some plastic surgeons regarding a new plastic surgery tax, the UK government says they currently have no plans to revise the VAT for cosmetic surgeries.

“Medical treatment for purely aesthetic reasons has been, and continues to be, liable to VAT at the standard rate,” it said in a statement.

To learn more about options for financing your plastic surgery in Philadelphia, please contact plastic surgeon Dr. Genter.

Some Americans Use Tax Refund for Treatments and Surgery

botox breast lift liposuction philadelphiaAs tax season ramps up, refund checks are being sent out and, if the money isn’t going into savings, it’s likely to be used for an indulgence. For many, this means finally going in for a long put-off cosmetic surgery, according to abc15.com.

Plastic surgeons in the Phoenix area say they are seeing a dramatic uptick in the number of individuals who are coming in during tax season, using their tax refund check to cover all or part of a procedure.

Kristy Harris in Phoenix chose to use her tax refund to pay for part of her breast lift surgery and used some savings to cover the rest of the $8,400 procedure (cost based on patient-reported averages on RealSelf.com). The mother of two said that raising children took a toll on her body and she wanted to do something to help herself achieve a “different look.”

Another popular procedure for the breasts is breast augmentation, which costs approximately $6,600. This surgery can improve shapeliness and body proportion.

Liposuction remains one of the most sought-after body procedures and costs about $5,600. Liposuction is often performed to remove stubborn fat deposits nearly anywhere on the body.

Even if your tax refund check is a bit smaller than you would hope, non-surgical treatments are available at a fraction of the cost of surgery. The ever-popular Botox, is used to reduce lines and wrinkles on the face. Chemical peels are also non-invasive and remain one of the key facial rejuvenation treatments and work to reduce many skin imperfections like a dry, dull complexion, blemishes and pigmentation issues. Botox and chemical peels cost about $472 and $610 for full treatments, respectively.

Reaganomics and Plastic Surgery Ties Explored in New Book

american plastic book philadelphiaThough President Ronald Reagan is often credited with ending the Cold War and having a hand in bringing down the Berlin Wall, in her book American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection, author Laurie Essig asserts that The Gipper’s trickle down economic theories have made plastic surgery more readily available to lower-income Americans.

Essig claims that after the implementation of trickle down economics, a theory she sees as less-than-successful, many Americans were put at an economic disadvantage and later began to see plastic surgery as a remedy to their financial troubles, though it could put them into deeper debt. Some saw plastic surgeries increasingly as a way to further their careers (or simply hold onto them), and less as just elective procedures to look more thin or beautiful, according to a 2.5 star review of the book for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Most of the 140 patients Essig interviewed for American Plastic saw plastic surgery as somewhat of a necessity in an ever-growing (and increasingly younger) job market. To that effect, one woman told Essig, “it’s about how you look, not what you do. I do believe that nine times out of 10, women with the hot bodies get the best jobs.”

More than just tummy tucks and liposuction leading the industry, Essig sees Botox with its dropping prices and ease of availability driving middle and lower income consumers into their plastic surgeon’s office and as they seek increased confidence in an uncertain economy.