Cosmetic Surgery Is Not Eligible For Medical Tax Deductions

Cosmetic Surgery Is Not Eligible For Medical Tax Deductions

If you spend more than $1,500 of your own money on medical expenses (after any insurance payments or bulk-billed services), you can normally offset 20% of that amount against your tax bill. However, the ATO issued a note this week reminding people that solely cosmetic surgery — such as having your breasts enlarged or your teeth whitened — does not count as a medical expense under that ruling.

The word “solely” is relevant here: a gold filling or braces will likely be eligible, since they are fixing actual problems, not merely changing the appearance of something for its own sake. But if you choose to spend money on breast enlargements, that’s something you’ll have to pay for yourself.



  • Interesting.. Could it not be argued though that Cosmetic Surgery could be beneficial to Mental Health?

    An Individual who has had such small Breasts for their whole life might have been teased or bullied and having an enlargement might improve their quality of life.

    A Transsexual individual who has not undergone cosmetic procedures might feel inadequate and ugly to the point that they suffer a mental breakdown; procedures such as this could greatly improve their mental health.

    An actor who has yellow teeth and cannot get a job might need that teeth whitening procedure to land a job, thus alleviating both financial stress and possible mental health problems. (Yeah I know, bad example.. but still!)

    • In that case I’d like to claim an xbox, a new car and maybe a helicopter on my tax because it’s good for my mental health.

      The line needs to be drawn somewhere, and if they really have such bad mental issues then they should be seeing a mental health specialist.

      • If you could convince them that it was a necessary cost of repairing your *damaged* mental health then sure. But they still aren’t medical expenses. If there was a section for xbox’s on your tax return you could go for it. If you have an ABN you could probably already claim depreciation on your car and newly acquired helicopter (congratulations on that by the way! :P)

    • In case anyone else stumbles across this, bexytea, it’s not “your” tax paying dollars that pay for someone’s deductions – it comes out of their overall income. So it lowers their income, and they might get more of their OWN tax money back that they’ve already paid throughout the year. That’s how deductions work. Your tax paying dollars pay for politician, defense force and centrelink wages. Not actors boob jobs.

      In most cases, an actor or model might have only earned 30,000 in a year and usually on their own ABN where they generally pay their own tax at the end of the year, so the boob job will lower their income and they will owe a little less to the tax department.

      When everyone got the stimulus package – I didn’t get it, because I had only earned 15,000 that year, therefore I had not paid any tax, therefore I was not eligible to get it.

      It only ever comes out of the tax that you already paid.

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