Taxing beauty

A precedent-setting first-tier tax tribunal has ruled that Botox treatments in Britain should be subject to VAT. 

The tribunal ruled in favour of HMRC in its case against southwest London skin-care clinic that had provided injections without paying VAT. 

The court found that Botox was primarily a cosmetic ‘vanity’ treatment. 

RSM’s Scott Harwood said that some clinics would still potentially be able to claim relief if they provide evidence of the client’s mental health. However, the clinics may need to provide documentation of diagnosis. 

This means the burden of proof has now clearly shifted.

Other VAT exemptions in the UK:

* Dog food attracts VAT unless the dog has a job – such as a guide dog.

* VAT is payable on the digital editions of newspapers, but newsprint editions are zero-rated.

* VAT is not charged on plain biscuits, but if you cover them in chocolate they become VATable.

* Buns & pitta bread are not taxed unless sold as paryt of hamburger or kabab.

* Jaffa Cakes are VAT-free because they are a cake!