The new ‘vanity tax’ means the price of Botox is about to skyrocket

Most recently, a South West London skin clinic, Skin Rich has been taken to court over botox treatments having a VAT-free status and treated as a form of medical therapy by HM Revenue Customs.

Skin Rich argued the cosmetic treatment was exempt from VAT as it contributed to bettering patients’ medical or physiological conditions through boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

Whether you love or hate it, botox is the cosmetic procedure dominating cosmetic surgery and it’s about to get a whole lot more expensive.

From bone shaving to even more recent botox treatments coming to the surface, innovations in cosmetic treatments keep on coming. The UK’s botox sector is worth a staggering £2.5 billion according to experts and with over 6 million people worldwide using the treatments, botox’s popularity is at an all time high.

The judge ruled in favour of HM Revenue Customs on the grounds that botox is primarily for cosmetic purposes, and now has the added 20% on top.

A single treatment of using the botulinum toxin can cost from £100 to £350 depending on which treatment, but this £350 treatment could now cost around £420. Effectively, the consumer is feeling the ramifications of this court decision directly and it’s yet another factor to consider when looking at cosmetic treatments using botulinum toxin.

“Botox was primarily being used by vain, silly women sorting out their wrinkles” says Gary Brothers, from tax investigation specialists Independent Tax, summarising the Judge’s decision.

The trouble with an increase in price for those who do regularly receive treatments, is the overarching cost. Usually lasting a few months, botox top ups aren’t looking as purse-friendly as they once did.

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