Brightening that smile may you cost a few extra bucks

Shishir Sinha | | Updated on: Jan 24, 2022

MAAR rules bleaching of teeth, dental veneers will attract 18 per cent GST

A beautiful smile has immense value and when designed through artificial means, it can invite Goods & Services Tax (GST).

A recent ruling by Maharashtra’s Authority for Advance Rulings (MAAR) on an application by Nashik-based Jyoti Ceramic has said that services including bleaching of teeth and dental veneers will attract 18 per cent GST. “Bleaching of teeth and dental veneers for smile designing provided by dental clinic of applicant to its patients fall under Chapter Heading 999722 at 18 per cent GST,” MAAR said. Though AAR ruling is applicable for the applicant and concerned jurisdictional tax officer only, it can be used as reference in similar matters. Also, many of such rulings have become base for policy decisions by GST Authorities, which then becomes applicable for all.

According to WebMD, a website for health information, dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size, or length, the website said. Another website, described bleaching of teeth as whitening teeth beyond their natural colour . Active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are bleaching agents most often used in teeth bleaching processes, it said.

The applicant in the said matter is engaged in the manufacture, sale and export of various ceramic products. It is also engaged in running a dental clinic. The applicant sought advance ruling on classification of ‘Zirconium Oxide Ceramic Dental Blanks’ and the services of bleaching of teeth and dental veneers for smile designing provided by dental clinics. It also sought advance ruling on listing services of providing artificial teeth, crown, bridges under healthcare services.

‘Not to be considered artificial teeth’

While dealing with question related to ‘Zirconium Oxide Ceramic Dental Blanks’, MAAR did not agree with the contention of the applicant that said the product to be considered as artificial teeth and dental fittings. It said that when the product in question “leaves the factory, they are in various shapes like squares and circles etc and not in the shape of teeth and also not ready to be used as artificial teeth.” Hence, they will not be considered as artificial teeth but a type of ceramic ware used on in laboratory. These will be categorised under Chapter Heading 69091200 and attract GST at the rate of 18 per cent.

On the issues related with providing services of artificial teeth, crown, bridges, MAAR said that services will attract GST at nil rate only when provided as healthcare service. But bleaching of teeth is a pure cosmetic surgery used to enhance the look of tooth.

Finally, it said that dental Veneer treatment is known as smile designing. “Dental veneer treatments cannot be considered as services by way of diagnosis or treatment or care of illness, injury, deformity, abnormality or pregnancy,” MAAR said, while adding that such treatment falls under exclusion part of the definition of ‘healthcare services.’

“We hold that dental veneer treatment is done to enhance a ‘smile’ and covered under SAC (Service Accounting Code) 999722,” AAR said. This particular code is for cosmetic treatment (including cosmetic/plastic surgery), manicure and pedicure services.

Published on January 24, 2022
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