The US Government is pushing for a 5 percent excise tax on any cosmetic procedure not deemed medically necessary. The tax would be aimed at any cosmetic surgery procedure prohibited under Section 213 of the Tax Code, which covers eligible and non-eligible itemized deductions for medical expenses.
According to IRS Publication 502, that includes "any procedure that is directed at improving the patient's appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or diseases."
This would include:
Other aesthetic procedures
Senate Bill Excerpt
SEC. 9017. EXCISE TAX ON ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES.
(a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:
"CHAPTER 49-ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES "Sec. 5000B. Imposition of tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures.
"SEC. 5000B. IMPOSITION OF TAX ON ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES.
"(a) IN GENERAL.-There is hereby imposed on any cosmetic surgery and medical procedure a tax equal to 5 percent of the amount paid for such procedure (determined without regard to this section), whether paid by insurance or otherwise.
"(b) COSMETIC SURGERY AND MEDICAL PROCEDURE.-For purposes of this section, the term 'cosmetic surgery and medical procedure' means any cosmetic surgery (as defined in section 213(d)(9)(B)) or other similar procedure which-
"(1) is performed by a licensed medical professional, and
"(2) is not necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease.
"(c) PAYMENT OF TAX.-
"(1) IN GENERAL.-The tax imposed by this section shall be paid by the individual on whom the procedure is performed.
"(2) COLLECTION.-Every person receiving a payment for procedures on which a tax is imposed under subsection (a) shall collect the amount of the
tax from the individual on whom the procedure is performed and remit such tax quarterly to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as provided
by the Secretary.
"(3) SECONDARY LIABILITY.-Where any tax imposed by subsection (a) is not paid at the time payments for cosmetic surgery and medical procedures are made, then to the extent that such tax is not collected, such tax shall be paid by the person who performs the procedure.".
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.-The table of chapters for subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 48 the following new item:
"CHAPTER 49-ELECTIVE COSMETIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES".
(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall apply to procedures performed on or after January 1, 2010.
Who will bear the burden?
Despite the growing popularity of plastic surgery procedures among men, 86 percent of cosmetic surgery patients are women.
The 2004 Patient Demographic Survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons finds that nearly "a third of people considering plastic surgery reported average household incomes below $30,000".
Plastic surgeons, medical spa owners, anti aging physicians, dentists, and other medical business owners will face an increased tax burden as their services become less affordable. Many may close their doors due to decline in business, which would further contribute to growing unemployment rates.