S.Korea Offers Tax Free Plastic Surgery

March 10, 2016 Taxation in South Korea

SEOUL – In an effort to become a global hub for medical tourism, Korea has dropped the taxes on cosmetic surgery for foreigners.

On March 9th the Ministry of Health of South Korea announced that any foreigners receiving cosmetic surgery in the country will be eligible for a refund of the Value Added Taxes paid for the procedure.

The refunds will be paid automatically at any international airport in Korea when an eligible non-resident presents proof of payment for surgery and other medical costs at their departure.

The government hopes that by dropping the 10 percent VAT on cosmetic surgeries more tourists can be enticed to travel to Korea, ultimately boosting tourism spending, while also increasing growth and employment in the medical sector.

Further the government hopes that the increased growth in the medical industry will help the country eventually become a global hub for medical tourism.

It is estimated that in 2014 alone the number of tourists travelled to Korea for cosmetic surgery was approximately 155 000, with the majority coming from China, USA, and Russia.

Photo By: Karl Baron