Glasses for self-employed

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Psyche
Psyche Registered Posts: 187 Dedicated contributor 🦉
Hi there,
I just wanted to double check as can't find anything on the HMRC website. Can a self-employed person claim the full deduction on glasses for VDU use? I know if employers provide these, they are exempt from taxation.
Thanks!

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  • sloshed
    sloshed Registered Posts: 100 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Hi Psyche

    Interesting Question. I am not claiming I am 100% correct as I am only currently doing my ATT Qualification following on from the AAT Qualification and therefore I would be relecutant for you to treat my advice as gospel but from my studies what I have ascertained is that the exemption from a benefit for the employee under ITEPA 2003 (FYI ITEPA = Income tax Earnings and Pensions Act) bears no relation for a self employed individual as there rules are covered by ITTOIA 2005 (Income Tax Trading and other income Act)

    The self employed individual would need to demonstrate that the claim for the glasses are wholly, exclusively and necessary for the purposes of their trade. Whilst they may qualify on the necessary (I am guessing they might not be able to see the screen without them) they may fail on the other two criteria.

    Hope this helps.

    Happy new year

    Brian
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Self-employed people only need to satisfy the wholly and exclusively test, not the necessarily test.

    That said, it fails both!
  • Psyche
    Psyche Registered Posts: 187 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Thanks for the help, so he would be able to claim none of the glasses cost or would he be able to claim a proportion that was for business use (i.e. the % of his time, or waking hours I guess, he spends using his eyes in his business)?
  • Jmann
    Jmann Registered Posts: 68 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Psyche wrote: »
    Thanks for the help, so he would be able to claim none of the glasses cost or would he be able to claim a proportion that was for business use (i.e. the % of his time, or waking hours I guess, he spends using his eyes in his business)?

    I am afraid it fails on duality of purpose.
  • T.C.
    T.C. Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I would not claim for glasses at all unless they were for protective use only. It is like saying that you need to wear trousers for working in a shop!? You would claim for protective clothing but not for a pair of jeans.
  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I was either told this by the HMRC helpline or read it on their website, but they take the view that it is your responsibility to ensure that your body is in a fit state to perform theh duties required of your job and you cannot claim relief for any aids required to correct any shortcomings/injuries you may have. I know there's a few very specific cases of people claiming for cosmetic surgery etc but generally anything of a medical / health nature will automatically be dissallowed.
  • payrollpro
    payrollpro Registered Posts: 427 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Interestingly I faced the same issue when I started as a sole trader, however, as soon as I incorporated (against advice) HMRC immediately changed and allowed the test plus 50% of the costs.

    They waived that in respect of VAT, bizzarely, and allowed all the VAT on reasonable costs.

    I agree though that the guidelines are poor and I know several sole traders who have an agreement to offset some of the costs of eyesight tests and specs.

    Its seems to be not what you know but who, once again!

    Payrollpro
  • Psyche
    Psyche Registered Posts: 187 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Very confusing indeed, I asked my client and he says he uses the glasses for VDU use only, he does not need glasses otherwise, so this does seem to fit the "wholly, necessarily and exclusively" criterion. Also if someone were deaf, say, surely they could deduct the cost of type-talk services, etc?

    It looks like I will have to call HMRC and hope for someone sympathetic :)

    Thanks for the help.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Psyche wrote: »
    he says he uses the glasses for VDU use only, he does not need glasses otherwise.

    So he doesn't use a home computer? or watch TV?

    In a court of law it is going to be very difficult to prove. Then again, the chances of it getting to that stage are slim. If you can justify it in accordance with the law then put it through and advise your client that it may get disallowed at a later date, possibly with interest and penalties.

    I personally wouldn't put it through.
  • Marga
    Marga Registered Posts: 981 Epic contributor 🐘
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    T.C. wrote: »
    I would not claim for glasses at all unless they were for protective use only. It is like saying that you need to wear trousers for working in a shop!? You would claim for protective clothing but not for a pair of jeans.

    i completely agree :)

    my husband is a gardener and he bought a pair of protective glasses for when he is trimming hedges and so ...he can claim this cause is for business related use (would go on to either clothing account or tools)

    however, he uses glasses to read and write his invoices but he doesnt claim those ones as those are personal use although he uses them for the business as well

    hope that helps
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