There are important differences between associate dentists who are self-employed or a company directors.
Company directors have to comply with health and safety at work regulations. Self-employed workers do not.
Self-employed dentists do not get tax relief on their glasses
To qualify for a tax deduction expenditure must be WHOLLY and EXCLUSIVELY for work use. This is an overriding principle used in many tax cases over many years.
Glasses warn WHOLLY for work are not EXCLUSIVE for work. To be EXCLUSIVE means they are not suitable for use outside of work.
General glasses suitable for use outside surgery will fail the exclusivity requirement to get a tax deduction.
Company director dentists
Health and safety laws allow computer screen users a tax deduction specifically for:
- eye tests
- prescription glasses required for ONLY using a computer screen
- If you need glasses for both screen and general use get two prescriptions. One for computer work only and one for everything else. You only claim for the costs of the computer uses
- Glasses required for non-computer use that cost £50 or under may be provided as a trivial benefit paid for directly by the company
- The transaction needs to be direct with the opticians. Company money is paid directly for the test and glasses provided and not claimed back as an expense. This is not a problem for a company director. If you are paying for an employee or fellow director or company secretary. You must in advance either provide them with a voucher or a letter saying they have permission to have their eyes tested and they will be reimbursed after the test by the company
- If the eye test has been paid for with personal money without the advance written permission from the company. Any reimbursement is classed as earnings and put through the payroll and income tax and national insurance contributions paid. This type of reimbursement isn’t tax-efficient for company owners to make
Specialist dental eyewear
A full tax deduction for all associate dentists (with or without prescription lenses) is available for:
- dental loupes
- toughened protective eyewear when using:
- power tools
- laboratory equipment