Corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses will be exempt from sales and use tax in Ohio as of July 1, 2019.
The Buckeye State currently provides a sales and use tax exemption for the purchase of a “prosthetic device,” which it defines as “a replacement, corrective, or supportive device, including repair and replacement parts for the device, worn on or in the human body to artificially replace a missing portion of the body, prevent or correct physical deformity or malfunction, or support a weak or deformed portion of the body.” Although they arguably meet that definition, corrective eyeglasses, contact lenses, and dental prostheses are currently excluded from the exemption.
With the enactment of Senate Bill 8, the sales and use tax exemption for prosthetic devices is extended and, as of July 1, 2019, expanded to include corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses. However, the measure specifically excludes “dental prosthesis” from the list of exempt prosthetic devices.
According to the bill’s fiscal analysis, exempting corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses is expected to reduce state sales and use tax collections by approximately $23 million in FY 2020.
Different states treat the taxability of corrective lenses differently. For example, Missouri considers eyeglasses and contact lenses taxable, while New Jersey exempts corrective eyeglasses and eyeglass frames that are fitted with corrective lenses. Wisconsin exempts corrective lenses and eyeglasses, as well as accessories for prosthetic devices: “neck cords, sunglasses designed to be worn over eyeglasses, repair parts and tools specifically for eyeglasses, cases for corrective eyeglasses, and non-disposable cleaning cloths purchased for corrective glasses.” However, it does not exempt contact lens solution, eyeglass lens cleaning solution, or disposable cleaning cloths, all of which are considered taxable supplies rather than exempt accessories.
Learn more about the taxability of corrective eyeglasses here. If you sell these products in multiple tax jurisdictions, tax automation software can facilitate sales and use tax compliance. Learn more.