Botulinum toxin injectable treatment has been declared subject to VAT, following a recent court case.
Previously the treatment has been described as having a ‘positive effect on quality of life and confidence’.
However, a recent tribunal judge was not satisfied that the ‘principal purpose’ of the ‘injectable treatments’ was to ‘protect, restore or maintain’ health, rather than ‘for cosmetic reasons’.
Therefore, dentists offering botulinum toxin injectables who reach the threshold must now register for VAT.
‘While medical treatments aren’t subject to VAT, cosmetic procedures are,’ Harry Singh, Botulinum Training Club CEO, said.
‘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.’
‘Ignore it at your peril’
Harry Singh suggests that dental practices involved in facial aesthetics should be proactive and prepared.
The VAT threshold is £85,000 and most dental practices involved in these cosmetic treatments will achieve this turnover.
‘My advice is to keep a careful, monthly watch on your total turnover for facial aesthetics and oral hygiene sundries,’ Dr Singh continues.
‘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!’
Private sector dentistry accounts for £3.6 billion according to a recent Laingbuisson report on dentistry.
Growth in private dentistry has been driven primarily from the popularity of hygiene services, cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics.
‘Private dentistry has grown well enough in recent times under a stable economic environment,’ report author, Philip Blackburn, said.
‘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.’