Tax relief on eye tests and glasses

If you spend hours in front of a PC, then your company may be able to claim tax relief on eye tests and glasses. Unlike other medical expenses payments this is an area that potentially qualifies for tax relief.

Tax relief on glasses and eye tests

When you use a VDU, your company can provide eye tests, contact lenses or glasses tax and NIC free (if they are required from using a VDU). This is because your company (or employer) is required to do this by law under the Health and Safety at work regulations.

However, in order for you to benefit from this tax free perk and for your company to claim tax relief on these expenses certain conditions must be met (see below):

Conditions for tax relief on eye tests and glasses

There are two conditions that must apply in order to to claim tax relief on eye tests and glasses.

  • The first condition is that the provision of an eye and eyesight test contact lenses or glasses which is deemed necessary, is required under the Health and Safety at Work regulations (see above).
  • The second condition is that the eye tests, contact lenses and glasses referred to above are made available generally to all those employees in circumstances where compliance with the regulations is necessary. 

Planning to obtain  tax relief on eye tests and glasses

The best approach to obtain tax relief on eye test is as follows:

  • Arrange for your company to pay the optician directly. Alternatively it can provide you with a voucher to exchange in return for check-ups. Though this approach is overkill if you're only a one or two director company.
  • If you pay for this cost directly, then your company will need to demonstrate that it was its liability and not yours. In practice this can be achieved by your company providing written authority for you to be tested and a undertaking that it will reimburse expenses on receipt. In practice, this is going to be more relevant where you have employees, rather than just one or two directors.
  • If the payment is your own (or your employee's liability) any sums reimbursed should be treated as earnings. It will therefore need to be grossed up and put through your company's payroll and subject to PAYE/NIC) - see below.

Circumstances where tax relief on eye tests and glasses is not available

Basically, this will be where glasses or contact lenses are prescribed and are unrelated to VDU use.

Where your company pays directly for eye tests and glasses in these circumstances the details are declared on form P11D and your company will pay Class 1A NICs.

If you incur the cost and are reimbursed by your company then this amount is treated as earnings and should be put through your company's payroll scheme (see above).

For more useful information, check out our Ebooks here.

And if you'd like to know how we can help you with all of this, or with anything else, feel free to give us a call on 01202 048696 or email us at [email protected].

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