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Can I Claim Tax Relief for My Glasses and Hearing Aid?

9 October 2019
Jan Friend
Reducing Tax, Payroll, People

Claiming tax relief on eye tests is often overlooked by business owners and when you tell them you can claim the cost if you use a monitor or screen at work then the first thing they say is can I claim tax relief on my Ray-Ban glasses! We therefore thought it would be helpful to outline the rules for you.

Glasses

If you are self employed, you can claim tax relief for glasses, but only if they are prescribed specifically for monitor or screen work. In practice you would need to have a pair of glasses that were used solely whilst working, otherwise there would be a dual purpose and no tax relief would be due. So the simple answer for the Ray-Bans is no!

As an employer you can pay for glasses for your employees without them being taxed on the benefit, but again only if the glasses are specifically for monitor or screen work.

Eye tests will also be tax deductible for the self employed, provided the test is required for use of a computer monitor or other screen.

For employers, again if you pay for your employee’s eye test there will be no benefit tax for them if the test is required for use of a computer monitor or other screen. Please note that if an employee requests that you pay for his eye test because he or she uses a monitor or screen then legally you have to pay for the test.

In truth there are a lot of expenses that qualify for tax relief – it’s just knowing what you can and can’t claim!

Hearing Aids

Finally – what about hearing aids? Well the good news is that if you are a sole trader you may be able to claim tax relief on hearing aids, or any other disability aids, against your business profits. The tax rules state that if the expense is incurred wholly and exclusively for your business then you can have tax relief for it. So if you need a hearing aid just for your work – say you work in a noisy environment and need help to hear on the phone, but your hearing is sufficient for everyday life, then the cost of the hearing aid would be tax deductible.  Additionally, if you have a VAT registered business, you can claim back the VAT paid on the equipment.

For employees hearing aids or similar disability equipment provided by companies will qualify for full corporate tax relief without incurring any additional tax for that staff member. Don’t forget, the VAT can be reclaimed if the business is VAT registered.

If you would like more information about tax relief on glasses or hearing aids contact Jan Friend in our tax team.

The content in this blog is correct as at 07/10/2019. See terms and conditions.

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