TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, January 28, 2005

Nip, Tuck, and Tax

Illinois and Washington are considering joining New Jersey in taxing . . . facelifts and Botox injections (see here):

Lawmakers trying to plump up the bottom line are considering a "vanity tax" on cosmetic surgery and Botox injections in Washington, Illinois and other states. Plastic surgeons and their patients say the idea is just plain ugly. "It makes no sense. Where does it stop - massages, facials, teeth cleanings?" asked Karen Wakefield, 51, who has had a nose job, dermabrasion, liposuction, tummy tuck and breast lift - plus a little Botox here and there.

On the federal level, § 213(c)(9) already excludes cosmetic surgery from the medical expense deduction.  The Code defines "cosmetic surgery" as "any procedure which 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."  (Thanks to Botox-free Sam Donaldson (Washington) for the tip.)

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Some might suggest the imposition of an "ugly" tax as more appropriate.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | Jan 28, 2005 4:17:20 AM