Eye Tests for the Self Employed

Dawny MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 62 ? ? ?
Can a person who is self employed deduct the cost of their eye test and glasses?

Although there is guidance on the HMRC web page if you're employed, I can't find anything helpful for the self employed.

Thank you.


  • SandyHood
    SandyHood Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    Dawny I don't know the answer to the whole of your question. I was asked something similar to do with flu jabs. I understand that eye tests are required by law for anyone using a VDU. On that basis the idea that the benefit of an eye test is partly for work partly not for work does not apply. The full cost becomes allowable. Just like you I don't have a clear answer for glasses. I hope someone joins in to tell both of us. At one time basic models were treated as allowable but the additional cost not. I don't even know if that was correct. As far a flu jabs are concerned I would welcome a true answer. My answer this afternoon was that the cost is low making it acceptable as an allowable cost to reduce absence due to flu.
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  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    I believe case law always rules in favour of HMRC as far as expenses with a duality of purpose for the self employed are concerned. It is very difficult for the taxpayer to prove that maintaining good health is only for the purpose of doing his job.
    It is different for employees where preventive eye test and costs of VDU glasses are not considered a benefit in kind.

    I'd be happy to hear others' comments though.
  • jamesm96
    jamesm96 Registered Posts: 523
    I would completely agree with MarieNoelle; we can get very caught up in the technicalities of some expenses, but often it comes back to a simple question of whether the expense was 'wholly and exclusively' for business purposes which, in this case, I would say it was not.
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