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Policy 66 – VAT on Spectacles

Policy 66 – VAT on Spectacles

March 1, 2023

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), in its continued effort to sensitize the public on matters of interest, has prepared the following policy to provide guidance on Value-Added Tax (VAT) on Spectacles.

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, spectacles are defined as “a pair of glasses”, while glasses mean “a pair of lenses set in a frame that rests on the nose and ears, used to correct or assist defective eyesight.”

Schedule 1, Paragraph 6(d) of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Act, Chapter 81:05, zero-rates, for the purposes of Section 17, “spectacles prescribed by an optometrist in the treatment of the human eye and visual system.”

Pursuant to the above, all supplies of spectacles, which is a combination of both the frame and the lenses when prescribed by an Optometrist, would be zero-rated.

The Value-Added Tax (VAT) Act Chapter 81:05 does not specifically zero-rate the supply of lenses only or frames only, therefore these items will attract VAT at the standard rate of fourteen percent (14%) when purchased separately, with or without a prescription from an Optometrist.

Moreover, VAT at the standard rate of fourteen percent (14%) is applicable on the supply of contact lenses, sunshades and sunglasses.

Further Schedule 1, Paragraph 6(g) of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Act, Chapter 81:05, zero-rates, “a supply of medical, dental, hospital, optical or paramedical services, to the extent provided in the regulations other than veterinary services.”

Consequently, all optical services such as examination of eyes for disorders, prescribe, fit and supply contact lenses and diagnose eye disorders and diseases are zero-rated.

Moreover, when a VAT registered Optometrist imports frames, lens, nose pads and other materials used for assembling spectacles, VAT is applicable at the rate of fourteen percent (14%). The VAT paid by the Optometrist on the imported items is claimed as input VAT.

Therefore, registered Optometrist may file for a full refund of input tax credits on a monthly basis if the zero-rated items account for at least fifty percent (50%) of the amount of the taxable supplies.

Contact Us:
Tax Advisory Services Section
Communications & Tax Advisory Services Division
Guyana Revenue Authority
200 -201 Camp Street
Tel: 227-6060 | 227-8222 Ext: 8000
Email: taxadvisory@gra.gov.gy
Website: www.gra.gov.gy