British HM Revenue and Customs has proposed a new way to increase their coffers – by slapping a 20 % VAT on cosmetic surgeries. Already dubbed the “boob tax”, if enacted this latest proposal would tax procedures such as breast enlargements, facelifts, tummy tucks and liposuction.

Why is the government so hyped on this tax? Simple reason. It is estimated to raise another £500 million in government revenues.

Under proposed guidelines, patients will only be exempt from paying the so-called “boob tax” if they can prove that the surgery is medically necessary or being performed for “therapeutic” reasons. Their rationale, I suspect, is to consider any surgery undertaken for beautification or rejuvenation a luxory and tax it as such. Early critics question where we draw the line between reconstructive surgeries to correct minor disfigurements and birth defects, and who should draw that line. Will such a tax unfairly penalizes women who have debilitating problems with their appearance?

I understand the Brit government’s need for quick cash, but I worry about a tax imposed on any medical procedures. Personally I hope this idea doesn’t cross the Atlantic! Once the door is open for medical taxation, will we be taxed next for appendectomies and gall bladder surgeries? Will be be asked to prove that these procedures as well as our latest visit to the dermatologist was medically necessary?

Do you think a similar tax should be levied here in the USA? I’d love to hear your thoughts!



  1. I like the tax as a luxury tax. If it is pure elective surgery defined by insurance already, meaning your insurance will not cover it, why not? Breast augmentations, face lifts, these are elective. From your other post, and the Mayo clinic, really these surgeries may be helping the patient live longer and healthier, so what’s a bit of a tax to get it done?

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