Tax Day Is Right Around the Corner: Can You Write Off Your Plastic Surgery?

Chako S. on 1 Apr 2015 at 9:00am


Can I Write Off My Plastic Surgery

April 15 (aka most people's least favorite "holiday") is right around the corner. If you're down to the wire and wondering if there’s any additional things you can write off to maximize your refund, don’t discount any cosmetic surgeries you might have had last year. You may be able to deduct them if they fall under certain stipulations.

“Generally, cosmetic surgery is not deductible," explains Bonnie Lee, owner of Taxpertise. Her answer is also backed up by the IRS, who says "you may not deduct funeral or burial expenses, over-the-counter medicines, toothpaste, toiletries, cosmetics, a trip or program for the general improvement of your health, or most cosmetic surgery.” There is a silver lining here, though, in that this doesn't apply to all plastic surgery. 

If your procedure was done for aesthetic reasons only, then we hate to say it but you're out of luck. If your physician deemed the procedure a medical necessity, then it could qualify as a medical deduction. The best way to determine if your procedure falls under the “medical necessity” category is to check with your insurance. (Here’s Aetna’s page to use as an example).

RELATED: You Got Your Tax Refund, Now Treat Yourself to a Cosmetic Procedure

The onus is on you to know which tax deductions are available, so do your research and dig up all your documentation. You can read up on the IRS’s medical and dental expense policies here. If your procedure does meet the criteria, CBSnews.com reminds us that “[all] medical expenses, including any allowable plastic surgeries, must come to more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income before you can claim them.”

Not to confuse the situation, but there is the infamous case of one “Chesty Love,” a Las Vegas stripper who, in order to generate more business, was urged by her agent to have her breasts augmented twice: first to a 56FF and then to a 56N. Her bigger breasts generated more attention, almost double the earnings, and a whole lot of psychological and physical pain. Four years after she filed, a judge deemed her implants a deductible business expense and compared them to work clothes, which are determined as being “required as a condition of employment” and “unsuitable for everyday use.”

Got any additional insights on writing off plastic surgery? We'd love to hear your tips and stories in the comments section below!

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