OTTAWA - The nip-and-tuck business got nipped in the federal budget.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is cutting tax deductions for most cosmetic surgery.

Boob and nose jobs, liposuction and botox, hair replacements, teeth whitening and other procedures "purely aimed at enhancing one's appearance" are no longer eligible for a medical tax credit.

Reconstructive surgery is eligible for a tax break if done to repair a congenital problem or one caused by an accident or disfiguring disease.

The medical tax credit reduces the federal tax owed. It amounts to 15 per cent of the expenses which exceed the lesser of $2,024 or three per cent of net income.

The government expects to save $40 million a year by closing this loophole.

The budget says the change brings Canada in line with policies in Quebec, the United States and Britain.

To add to the problems of those tempted to improve on nature, the budget also imposes the GST on cosmetic procedures.

The changes are effective Thursday.