Korea Proposes Tax on Cosmetic Surgery

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Korean Government Proposes Cosmetic Surgery Tax

The government of South Korea has proposed the addition of a value-added tax on cosmetic plastic surgery.

cosmetic surgery tax

At present, there are few details regarding the measure other than that it appears to be part of a larger movement of "social justice" intended to "create a fair society" and establish "higher ethical standards."

"Privileged people should assume more responsibilities and social obligations than the less privileged. It's essential to make Korea a respected nation," said President Lee Myung-bak.

According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the government will focus on eradicating unfair social and economic practices in four sectors ― education, military conscription, tax and employment.

APSG Comment: While not part of a broader initiative, the last time a VAT was proposed in South Korea several years ago, plastic surgeons there predicted a significant negative effect on growth of the sector, if not its demise -- and that was before the economic downturn. Same thing in the United States more recently. Due to intense lobbying, neither measure came to pass.

Times have changed and many countries are now hard-pressed to generate additional government revenue. It will be interesting to see how the Korean plastic surgery industry handles this challenge while at the same time boasting of its record volume and profits.

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Korean Value-Added Tax on Cosmetic Surgery