Consumers, Businesses, Health Groups Call for Sales-Tax Exemption for Botox
More than three dozen consumers, businesses and health groups sent letters to the Board of Equalization this month urging the state to abandon a plan to tax the wrinkle treatment Botox, the Sacramento Bee reports. Californians argue in the letters that the tax could lead to taxes on other medical procedures and prescription drugs.
Last fall, state tax auditors questioned why Botox, approved by FDA for cosmetic purposes, was not being taxed.
In response, the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, the California Society of Plastic Surgeons and the California Medical Association petitioned the board to exempt Botox from sales tax.
The board agreed to hold a public hearing on the matter and in January will decide whether to tax the treatment.
Some employers are concerned that a tax on Botox would clear the way for taxes on other medical services and contribute to increasing employee health costs.
A lobbyist said doctors were concerned about auditors viewing confidential patient files and whether auditors were capable of distinguishing between cosmetic and medical treatments.
TMJ Society of California -- a not-for-profit group that promotes awareness of temporomandibular joint disorders and orofacial pain, which are treated with Botox -- said it also was concerned that state auditors are not qualified to make decisions about which procedures are medically necessary (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 12/19).