Legal ruling applies VAT to Botox treatments


A recent tribunal judge has deemed the previous description of botox treatment as having a ‘positive effect on quality of life and confidence’ as inaccurate and concluded that the ‘principal purpose’ of the ‘injectable treatments’ was not to ‘protect, restore or maintain’ health, but ‘for cosmetic reasons’. The fallout is that dentists offering botox treatments who reach the VAT threshold of £85,000 must now register for VAT.

Botulinum Training Club CEO, Harry Singh, said: “While medical treatments aren’t subject to VAT, cosmetic procedures are. One clinic went to court to argue that the way they use botulinum toxin is “medical”. The truth is, this has always been a grey area and it needed clarification. This is a first-tier judgment, and whether Skin Rich will go to a higher court remains to be seen. For now, a legal precedent is set and the type of botulinum toxin treatments that dentists perform will attract VAT. My advice is to keep a careful, monthly watch on your total turnover for facial aesthetics and oral hygiene sundries. If the VAT threshold is reached, you need to register for VAT, then you have two choices, to pass the VAT on to the patients or absorb it yourself. It’s not a great choice, but there it is. It may change in the future, but for now that’s where we are. Ignore it at your peril.”

“Legal ruling applies VAT to Botox treatments“

A recent Laingbuisson report on dentistry found that the private sector accounts for £3.6 billion and growth is largely due to the popularity of hygiene services, cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics. Philip Blackburn, author of the report, said: “Private dentistry has grown well enough in recent times under a stable economic environment. Many dental providers seek opportunities for continued growth, however future economic wellbeing, a key driver for the private market, is currently vulnerable. Modest UK growth is projected for several years, though Brexit holds a wild card on the economy and labour supply. Also difficulties in the recruitment and retention of dentists and other dental professionals poses a risk for dentistry market growth in general.”

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