HOME / COMMUNITY Switch to knowledge base

Company paying for my glasses?

Hi all,

I recently picked up my reading glasses (I am getting older, hahaha), and the optician suggested that there is an option that my company would pay for the glasses instead of me privately.

I didn’t get more information, so I am hunting and found this: https://www.ihasco.co.uk/blog/entry/2448/does-my-employer-have-to-pay-for-my-eye-tests-and-glasses

Since I am a heavy DSE user (8+ hours a day) I would certainly pass the eye test and the specialty glasses test (can’t wok without reading glasses).

But how would I account for that? Is this a benefit in kind I need to payroll?

Any help is much appreciated! :slight_smile:

You can claim the cost of the test. Generally you can not claim the cost of the glasses.

It would be pretty hard to argue that you don’t use them other when at work, unless you could prove they are kept at the office when your not there, and that they are only needed specifically for the distance between you and the monitor.

In other words its highly unlikely you’d pass any assessment from hmrc that they are wholey and exclusively related to the business.

Can’t work without reading glasses is irrelevant. Can you honestly say you wouldn’t need glasses in any other walk of life other than when your at work? Good luck.

Paul, thanks for the answer.

So, I can claim the eye test as company expense?

And if I declare the glasses as benefits in kind through payroll (and hence pay tax for it) that would be acceptable to HMRC?

Yes it would, by why would you?
If it were me I’d put it through as a dla expense and net it off against something like mileage allowance or food allowance.

I’ve never done allowances; how would that work?

Mileage allowance would depend on how you claim motor expenses. It’s one or the other. Maybe read up on them and then decide but essentially you claim it and journal it against the directors loan account.

There is detailed guidance from HMRC here on the liability to NIC - basically there is no liability for either the eye test or a specific prescription for VDU use. Any general prescription would attract NIC but only on the amount over and above that for VDU use, so you would have to get your optician to breakdown the costs in that case.

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/national-insurance-manual/nim02145

Nor do you have to report either the eye test or the glasses (if required specifically for VDU work) as they are not considered a benefit in kind. See here https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-medical-treatment/whats-exempt

If you have paid for the test yourself, then claim it as an expense - the cost goes to employee costs and the credit goes to the DLA. You can reimburse yourself specifically (tag the payment to DLA) or you can pay yourself a balance periodically as and when funds are available.

If the company pays for the test, then tag the payment to employee costs.

The company, as your employer, is obliged to pay for them and they are tax-deductible, so why wouldn’t you?