You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses, even if you wear them while working. These are private expenses.
You may be able to claim a deduction for the work-related cost of:
- safety goggles or glasses – if your work requires you to be in an environment that could be harmful to you if you don't take adequate safety precautions
- protective sunglasses – if your work requires you to be outdoors and you're exposed to the risk of eye damage from sunlight.
Protective sunglasses include prescription sunglasses, photochromatic and anti-glare glasses.
To claim a deduction, you must be able to show that wearing them:
- has a direct connection with your work duties
- protects you from the real and likely risk of illness or injury while at work.
You only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.
Example: prescription sunglasses and glasses
Sergei works as a landscaper and spends most of his days outdoors in the sun. He gets prescription sunglasses to protect his eyes from the glare. When he is working in his office, he wears his regular prescription glasses.
Sergei can claim a deduction for his prescription sunglasses as they protect him from the risk of illness or injury while performing his work-related activity.
The prescription glasses he wears in the office offer no protection. They are a private expense and he can't claim a deduction for them.
As Sergei wears his prescription sunglasses on his days off, he apportions the cost of his sunglasses to account for his private use.End of example