London, June 8 (PTI): Celebrities like author Salman Rushdie and actress Leslie Ash may claim tax rebate in Britain to offset the cost of cosmetic surgery they have undergone to boost their careers, the media reported today.
“We have granted tax breaks to leading filmstars who proved that their facial appearance and bust size made a significant business difference,” a senior revenue officer told Sunday Times.
Breast implants and botox injections, which freeze facial muscles that cause wrinkles, can now be claimed with relatively few questions. Those who could be eligible for this rebate include Rushdie, who had his eyelid operated and Ash, who recently had a lip-enhancement surgery.
For years, broadcasters, models and filmstars have been claiming clothing and other fashion accessories against tax. Now the cost of facelifts, breast implants, botox injections and teeth whitening can be claimed, provided they are shown as legitimate “business expense”.
According to revenue insiders, at least three celebrities — two belong to the film world and one is a broadcaster — have made successful claims, and accountants are working on a dozen more cases.
The tax concession was granted after a test case in which a radio broadcaster who recently moved to television successfully argued he needed his teeth straightened to land a new job.
Details of the new tax break, which are yet to be announced, are likely to anger ordinary tax-payers who have lost a range of tax perks in recent years.
Last year, 110,000 cosmetic surgeries took place in Britain — an 83 per cent increase over the past five years, according to a study conducted by Mintel, a market research firm.