Cigarette taxes, gasoline taxes, and alcohol taxes are already used to fund government programs, and now the government is considering another luxury tax to help fund the cost of healthcare reform. The proposed tax on cosmetic surgery would be a 10% excise tax on procedures deemed not medically necessary. Although this tax would be levied on cosmetic surgeons, the cost would most likely be passed on to consumers.
The tax has been proposed to help cover the estimated $1 trillion cost of health care reform. The tax would most likely cover anything considered cosmetic surgery under the current law, defined in IRS Publication 502 as "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 disease. You generally cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for procedures such as face lifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis) and liposuction."
If passed, the tax would contribute approximately $1 billion, about a tenth of a percent of the total cost, around the amount Americans spent on breast augmentation last year, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates.
As the health care reform proposals continue to be debated, it is likely that this tax may be revised or removed, but if it passes, it may push people considering cosmetic surgery to get their procedure performed before it goes into effect.
If you are interested in cosmetic surgery, this may be a good reason to have your procedure performed sooner rather than later. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with New York cosmetic surgeon Dr. George Lefkovits.