Are the costs of an eye test tax deductible?

For many of us, spending a considerable amount of time in front of computer screens is part of our daily routine.

When you use a Visual Display Unit (VDU) required by your role, the company (employer) can provide eye tests, contact lenses or glasses tax and NIC free subject to certain conditions and in line with Health and Safety regulations.

Conditions for tax relief on eye tests and glasses

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

    • 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.
    • 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. 

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

Where glasses or contact lenses are prescribed and are unrelated to VDU use at work or are used for a purpose other than work such as driving, watching TV, etc. This would fail the wholly and exclusively for business purposes test.

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 processed via company payroll.

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