Contractors' Questions: Can I put my eye test on my company's expenses?

Contractor’s Question: I’ve heard that employers offer free eye tests by law and discounts on glasses – but am not sure if that’s the case across the board. Anyway what I’d like to know, partly related to this, is can I claim anything towards the cost of new spectacles through my limited company, which I am the sole director of?

Expert’s Answer: With regards to eye tests, if you regularly use a computer in your line of work then you are able to claim the cost of the eye test as an allowable business expense.

Generally speaking, glasses cannot be claimed as an allowable business expense. HM Revenue & Customs rules state that they will only allow expenses that are deemed to be wholly and exclusively for the business and necessarily incurred in the performance of your duties. In the case of glasses, it is more than likely that they will also be used outside of your working environment; therefore the cost cannot be justified as an exclusive business expense. 

However, if a prescription is required for glasses that are solely to be used for business purposes and evidence can be provided that they are not used elsewhere, then the purchase of glasses can be justified as an allowable business expense. 

The Expert was Mark Denton, an accountant at inniAccounts.

Thursday 4th July 2013