Plastic Surgery Tax Hits UK Cosmetic Surgery Centers

Cosmetic and plastic surgeons offering services in the United Kingdom will now be subject to a cosmetic surgery tax that will increase the total fees for treatment.

Surgeons will need to register to add 20% to their baseline prices with the Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is similar to a sales tax and is imposed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department in the UK.

The HMRC points out that this is actually not a new law, but is now relevant to the profession of plastic and cosmetic surgery. ". . . cosmetic services which are performed mainly for beautification or rejuvenation purposes, or done out of the individual's free choice rather than out of medical necessity, are liable to VAT at the standard rate. Such services may include: face lifts, tummy tucks, female breast enlargement, liposuction, hair and tattoo removal using lasers and intense pulse light source machines."

Previously, plastic and cosmetic surgeons had only been charging this tax on Botox, chemical peels and other minor cosmetic treatments that are typically offered at the salon. The taxes are now being enforced for all types of procedures, including breast augmentation, liposuction and facelift surgery amongst others. The law will require all patients to pay this tax when going under the knife.

According to, the “boob tax” will add approximately £500 million (approximately $780 million) in government revenue each year. So, a plastic surgery procedure such as liposuction or breast augmentation may increase by up to  £1,000 ($1,600) with this tax.

If you’ve been thinking about going overseas for your cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, make sure you’ve taken some time to meet with plastic surgeons in your area to discuss average costs. Going overseas doesn’t always mean that you will be getting a better price on services, and your options for returning to the same plastic surgeon for touch-up or secondary treatments may be limited. Take a look at these cosmetic and plastic surgery before and after photos to see examples of successful outcomes with various procedures performed by surgeons in the United States.

Further Reading

  • Women, who want feet that are more beautiful, are flocking to plastic surgery centers around the country to undergo a toe reshaping procedure. Women with very wide toes are “suffering” from a condition that has been coined, ‘toe-besity’. New York-based podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong recently interviews with “Good Morning America” about this emerging trend, and shares some insights about this elective surgery.

  • Even though women are often stereotyped as driving demand for cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, a recent study released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) indicates that more men than ever are heading to the cosmetic surgeon for their own male makeover.

  • has recently released a fantastic plastic surgery cost infographic for both men and women. Why do people shell out so much money for plastic surgery? Well the answer obviously is to look better and feel wonderful about themselves. In addition, as I have written before, it is becoming the rising trend for job seekers as the job market becomes more and more competitive.