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Old 24th Apr 2009, 12:31   #1
Lord-Jaffa
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Paying VAT on glasses? :(

So I just ordered some glasses online since i have a new perscription and was a bit miffed to see the VAT was almost a tenner for them.

Why on earth is VAT added to things like glasses? If you don't have to pay it on food, why should it be paid on other essentials like glasses and contact lenses? :/

Just a bit of a rant really after a rubbish week at work :P
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 12:32   #2
RDM
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Because being able to see is a luxury....oh hang on...
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 12:33   #3
Vonhelmet
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Was it just on the frames? Was it at only 5%? Can't remember the right rate for glasses - assume they count as... medicine? Will check my legislation when I get home, assuming someone doesn't beat me to it.

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Old 24th Apr 2009, 12:34   #4
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were they designer glasses

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Old 24th Apr 2009, 12:40   #5
998cc
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Thats the UK for you. Tax on basically everything.
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 12:41   #6
jamief
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Originally Posted by C.P View Post
Thats the UK for you. Tax on basically everything.
No, that is the developed world for you
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 13:07   #7
Lord-Jaffa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonhelmet View Post
Was it just on the frames? Was it at only 5%? Can't remember the right rate for glasses - assume they count as... medicine? Will check my legislation when I get home, assuming someone doesn't beat me to it.
From the receipt its 15% vat!

Shouldn't be paying any VAT at all on essentials like these, its rediculous :/
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 13:25   #8
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i didnt think u paid vat on glasses, seems a bit poor if you do as they are hardly a luxury item
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 13:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by House of Commons Hansard
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about changes he has made in VAT charges on (a) hearing aids and (b) glasses since May 1997. [158878]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 26 April 2001]: VAT was introduced on hearing aids and spectacles at the standard rate of 15 per cent. in 1988. The standard rate of

27 Apr 2001 : Column: 434W

VAT was increased to 17.5 per cent. in 1991. There have been no changes to VAT charged on hearing aids or spectacles since then.

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Old 24th Apr 2009, 14:11   #10
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I thought some food have VAT on it and some did not, depending if it was a staple or a luxury. Is that right?
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Old 24th Apr 2009, 14:23   #11
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Perhaps it is only levied on luxury frames? How does it work with what my mother would call "NHS glasses"?

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Old 24th Apr 2009, 14:39   #12
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I wont be paying vat on glasses, is this the thread with the eel stuck up the blokes arse
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 14:18   #13
Stuff
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Holy thread revival Batman!

Does anyone know if VAT is still paid on glasses?

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Old 8th Aug 2014, 14:44   #14
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Glasses are still standard rated supplies for VAT purposes.

Why does sunscreen have VAT on it?

Thread also includes a discussion on glasses.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 14:47   #15
D.P.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Jaffa View Post
So I just ordered some glasses online since i have a new perscription and was a bit miffed to see the VAT was almost a tenner for them.

Why on earth is VAT added to things like glasses? If you don't have to pay it on food, why should it be paid on other essentials like glasses and contact lenses? :/

Just a bit of a rant really after a rubbish week at work :P
I believe the lenses were not taxed, the designer frames were taxed.
I don't know if there are some tax free basic frames you can buy.
If you want something fancy, or want fancy extras like the auto tinting stuff then these are luxuries and also taxed.


It is kind of like clothes. Basic clothing shouldn't attract VAT but expensive designer jeans, shoes, suits, football etc should be taxed. However, it is difficult to not apply VAT to a 2 quid t-short from primark but to tax a fancy football shirt. Due to this everything just gets taxed.

The only solution i see is have certain values for clothes/glasses that are tax free. So, e.g. the first 5quid of a t-short has no tax, 2 pounds for underwear, 30 pounds for shoes. Everything over these kinds of values gets 20% VAT so unbranded basics are tax free or low tax, and 300 pounds shoes are heavily taxed.
Last edited by D.P.; 8th Aug 2014 at 14:53.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 14:49   #16
D.P.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snail1 View Post
I thought some food have VAT on it and some did not, depending if it was a staple or a luxury. Is that right?
Unprocessed food is tax free, processed food is taxed.

So fruit, vegetables, meat, flour, sugar etc are tax free.
Chocolates, crisps, microwave food, frozen pizzas, soda are all taxed.
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Old 8th Aug 2014, 14:49   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chabsy View Post
... is this the thread with the eel stuck up the blokes arse
LOL, WAT? Can't believe this went unanswered.

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Old 8th Aug 2014, 15:39   #18
TheBDog
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is this the thread with the eel stuck up the blokes arse

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Old 8th Aug 2014, 15:53   #19
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VAT is obviously on the frames only, as they're a luxury. If you weren't so lazy you could just hold the lenses in front of your eyes yourself.

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Old 8th Aug 2014, 16:00   #20
mattyfez
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Yeh lenses and frames are charged for separately, I think you can get 'NHS' frames which are pretty much free, I remember you could spot the kids at school with them pretty easily lol.

A 200 Prada frame is obviously a luxury item.

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Old 8th Aug 2014, 16:04   #21
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Lenses and frames are standard rated for VAT.

Sight tests and measuring/fitting are exempt.

VATHLT2190 - The services of the medical and paramedical professions: opticians: the supply of spectacles - liability

Contact lenses are also standard rated.

VATHLT2200 - The services of the medical and paramedical professions: opticians: the supply of contact lenses - liability
Last edited by Surveyor; 8th Aug 2014 at 16:07.
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