Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery Service under service tax
Beauty treatment service provided by saloons, beauty parlors and beauticians are taxable since 2002. The service now proposed to be taxed is cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery undertaken to preserve or enhance physical appearance or beauty. As per common definition, surgery is a medical technology consisting of a physical intervention on tissues. As a general rule, a procedure is considered surgical when it involves cutting of a patient’s tissues or closure of a previously sustained wound. Commonly surgery is performed in a sterile environment with anesthesia and antiseptic conditions using surgical instruments. It also includes ‘non-invasive’ surgery
Service tax on Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery Service has been imposed from 01.09.2009 vide Notification No.26/2009-ST dt. 19.8.2009.
“Taxable service” means any service provided or to be provided to any person, by any other person, in relation to cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery, but does not include any surgery undertaken to restore or reconstruct anatomy or functions of body affected due to congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, degenerative diseases, injury or trauma.
Some of the commonly known aesthetic/cosmetic surgeries are abdominoplasty (tummy tuck); letharoplasty (eyelid surgery); mammoplasty; buttock augmentation and lift; rhinoplasty (reshaping of nose); otoplasty (ear surgery); Rhytidectomy (face lift); liposuction (removal of fat from the body); brow lift; cheek augmentation; facial implants; lip augmentation; forehead lift; cosmetic dental surgery; orthodontics; aesthetic dentistry; laser skin surfacing etc.
However, any reconstructive surgery undertaken to restore one’s appearance, anatomy or bodily functions affected due to congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, degenerative diseases, injury or trauma would be outside the scope of this service. These processes could be undertaken to correct impairment caused by burns, fractures or congenital abnormalities like cleft lip etc.
The scope of taxable medical services is only of two types of surgeries viz. 1) Cosmetic Surgery and 2) Plastic Surgery. In the event those surgeries were performed for medical treatment, they would be outside the levy of service tax.
In common parlance surgery is understood as branch of medicine which is concerned with treatment of injuries or disorders of body, performed in a sterile environment. It may concluded that new taxable medical services are only of two types of surgeries – Cosmetic or Plastic surgeries but other medical surgeries performed for medical treatments are excluded from service tax. Moreover, from the definition of Cosmetic or Plastic surgery, only a person who provides such cosmetic or plastic surgeries are liable to service tax and he is being treated as an assessee for service tax purpose.
Finance Act, 2009 proposed service tax on cosmetic surgery or plastic Surgery undertaken to preserve or enhance physical appearance or beauty. In this regard, Ministry has issued a notification No. 26/2009-ST on 19-August-2009. The gross amount charged with respect to plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery is chargeable to service tax effective from 1st September, 2009.