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VDU Glasses (continued)
by gjctech at 08:28 25/03/14 (Letters from Freelancers)
It's a shame that I can't respond in the same thread as Barry Roback's reply to my original post. But to answer Barry's points:

The glasses are an intermediate prescription - i.e. required for VDU work and separate to my reading prescription. Also, I work as a tech author and hence I'm using a computer for most of my working day.

When I took the matter up with my umbrella company, I noted that HMRC allows them to reimburse the cost of the eye test and also VDU-specific glasses and drew their attention to the following pages on the HMRC website:

1. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payerti/exb/a-z/m/medical-treatment.htm
2. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/nimmanual/nim02145.htm

From reference 1 above:

There are no reporting requirements and they have no tax or NICs to pay for company directors and employees earning at or above the 8,500 rate if they provide any of the following:
- eye tests required by health and safety legislation for employees who are required to use a computer screen or other VDU
- glasses or contact lenses that you're obliged to provide because an eye test required by health and safety legislation shows them to be necessary for VDU work - as long as the glasses or lenses are only used for VDU work

So they don't need a dispensation as HMRC state that there are no reporting requirements.

Reference 2 (HMRC Notice NIM02145) further states that Class 1 NICs are not payable on these items and reiterates that no tax or NICs are payable on amounts reimbursed.

Even though they are legally obliged to provide me with VDU glasses, they have so far failed to do this; and so I had to buy VDU glasses myself. These are basic glasses (Specsavers' cheapest range with no frills), but as I pay tax at 40% being able to claim back the tax and NI is worth about 60% of what I paid.

Hence my question, which hasn't been answered. Specifically, I'm asking whether I can, personally, claim for the cost of the glasses on my self-assessment form?


Editor's note: You cannot reply directly to your original question to experts as responses on that part of the site are restricted to our panel of experts. Therefore, those asking questions know their answer is coming from a professional int he field. I have posted your second response, ie this one, as a Letter from Freelancers, which opens it up to any registered user to reply. Susie Hughes Editor

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