Here's What You Need To Know About Deducting Prescription Safety Glasses From Your Tax Return
Businesses that require their employees to work around potentially hazardous materials are required, by law, to provide safety gear to protect those employees from those hazards. However, that expense is deductible for both business owners and employees, and you’ll need to know the details before you add it to your tax return. This is some basic information about how you can claim prescription safety glasses on your tax return.
Why Can I Claim Prescription Safety Glasses on My Tax Return?
Simply put, the IRS gives business owners a deductible option for safety equipment that’s required by law or required to operate their business. For employees, the IRS gives a break on unreimbursed employee expenses and medical expenses. You’ll need to list prescription safety glasses under one of those three categories depending on who you are and what the circumstances are.
How Do I Know If Safety Glasses Are Required for My Job or Business?
OSHA requires that a workplace be safe for employees, but workplaces don’t need to be completely free from hazards. The company in charge of the workplace is responsible for providing equipment and training that will help to protect their employees from workplace hazards. This includes safety glasses. An employer has to make sure that every employee who works the following substances is wearing safety glasses:
- Chemical gases
- Light radiation
- Airborne particles
- Molten metal
- Liquid chemicals
How Can I Get a Tax Deduction for Prescription Safety Glasses as a Business Owner?
The IRS does allow small businesses some useful deductions during tax season. Business owners are required, by law, to provide certain safety equipment to their employees, but it is a deductible business expense. The IRS doesn’t distinguish between legally required and not legally required safety equipment, which means as a business owner, as long as you covered the cost, you can list it as a business expense. The only caveat is that the business has to require the safety equipment to operate.
How Can I Get a Tax Deduction for Prescription Safety Glasses as an Employee?
Since your employer is required to provide you with any safety equipment necessary to keep you safe from workplace hazards, this is a relatively uncommon occurrence. However, if you’ve had to purchase a pair of prescription safety glasses required for you to do your job, you can itemize them under “unreimbursed employee expenses” on your tax return. Only the portion of these costs that exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income is deductible.
If you were prescribed safety glasses for use on the job, you’ll want to list them under medical expenses. However, the IRS only allows a deduction on that portion when the medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
The bottom line is, you can absolutely claim your prescription safety glasses on your tax return, whether you’re a small business owner covering business costs or an employee who purchased your own safety glasses. It’s an expense you can claim but you won’t necessarily be reimbursed unless your expenses meet the minimum percentages.
Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, RX Safety has plenty of options for glasses that protect wearers from workplace hazards. You can take a look at all of our certified prescription safety eyewear here. And if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us, our experts would be happy to help.