Can I buy glasses with my tax refund (before filing bankruptcy)?

Yes.

You normally want to receive and spend your tax refund prior to filing bankruptcy.  The problem is that you sometimes buy things that the trustee can take and liquidate.  For instance, if you buy a $3,000 atv, you will lose it two weeks later when you file bankruptcy.

However, glasses are a safe purchase.  They are considered “health aids” under Utah law, and are completely exempt (protected) from your creditors, including the bankruptcy trustee.  glasses

If you look at the Utah code section, glasses qualify as:

78B-5-505. Property exempt from execution.
(1) (a) An individual is entitled to exemption of the following property:
(i) a burial plot for the individual and the individual’s family;
(ii) health aids reasonably necessary to enable the individual or a dependent to work or sustain health;

In theory, if you don’t need glasses, then they wouldn’t be protected.  Additionally, there is always a rule of reason:  $10,000 diamond studded solid gold glasses are probably beyond the scope of the health aids exemption.  In other words, Elton John may have a problem, but you should be okay.