Sunglasses Tax Deductions

As an Australian taxpayer, did you know that you may be eligible for a tax deduction on your sunglasses? Tax deductions can be claimed for sun protection equipment by individuals whose occupations require them to work outdoors.

This article aims to provide you with useful information about sunglasses tax deductions and how you can benefit from them while safeguarding your eyes from harmful sun exposure.

To begin with, it’s important to note that regular prescription glasses or contact lenses are considered private expenses and are not eligible for tax deductions, even if you wear them while working. However, there are specific circumstances where you can claim a deduction for work-related eyewear expenses.If your work involves being in an environment that poses potential harm to your eyes without proper safety precautions, you may be able to claim a deduction for safety goggles or glasses.

Similarly, if your job requires you to be outdoors and exposes you to the risk of eye damage from sunlight, you can claim a deduction for protective sunglasses. This includes prescription sunglasses, photochromatic lenses, and anti-glare glasses. To successfully claim a deduction, you must demonstrate that wearing these eyewear items directly relates to your work duties and protects you from the real and likely risk of illness or injury while at work. You can only claim a deduction for the portion of the expense that is used for work-related purposes.

For example, let’s consider Pete, a landscaper who spends most of his working hours outdoors. Pete invests in prescription sunglasses to shield his eyes from the sun’s glare, which is a genuine risk in his line of work. In this case, Pete can claim a deduction for the cost of his prescription sunglasses as they directly contribute to his occupational safety. However, his regular prescription glasses, worn while working in his office, do not offer any protection and therefore cannot be claimed as a deduction.

It’s worth noting that if you use your sunglasses or other sun protection items for both work and personal purposes, you’ll need to apportion the expense accordingly. For instance, if your $300 sunglasses are used 50% of the time for private use, your deduction would be calculated as $150. While there is no specific limit on the cost of sunglasses for claiming a deduction, the ATO expects that if they exceed $300, they should last for more than 12 months. In such cases, you would need to claim the depreciation of the glasses over time, rather than the entire purchase price upfront.

It’s crucial to consult with your accountant or tax advisor to determine your eligibility for the sun protection tax deduction based on your specific occupation and circumstances. They can provide personalized advice and guidance regarding the requirements and limitations associated with claiming this deduction.Furthermore, it’s important to prioritize the protection of your eyes from harmful UV rays. In addition to wearing sunglasses, consider following these tips:

Wear UV protective sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats whenever you’re outside, regardless of the weather conditions or shade.

Be aware that indirect light, reflected off surfaces like the ground, sand, or water, can still cause damage to your eyes. Take precautions even when you’re not directly exposed to sunlight.

If you require prescription glasses, explore options for tinted prescription lenses that provide both clear vision and sun protection.

Ensure that you extend sun protection to your children and older family members who may be more vulnerable to UV damage.

When purchasing sunglasses, check the sun protection factor on the swing tag and opt for lenses that meet high category (Australian standard) standards. Remember that price doesn’t always correlate with better protection.

Polarized lenses can be particularly useful for reducing glare in environments like the beach or snowy areas.

Consider choosing close-fitting, wraparound sunglasses or classic styles with thick arms to prevent glare and harmful rays from entering through the sides.

If you’re unsure about the best sunglasses for your protection, consult your optometrist who can guide you on lens options and fitting.

In conclusion, as an Australian taxpayer working in occupations that involve prolonged outdoor exposure, you have the opportunity to claim a tax deduction for sunglasses and other sun protection items. By taking advantage of this deduction, you not only protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays but also save on taxes. Remember to consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with the ATO guidelines and to maximize the benefits of the sunglasses tax deduction. Prioritize your eye health and enjoy the benefits of both clear vision and financial savings.

    This article is general information only and does not provide advice to address your personal circumstances. To make an informed decision you should contact an appropriately qualified professional.