The madness of the UK Tax System.
The general rule of thumb regarding claiming for clothing through your business is that it is not an allowable expense unless it’s protective or uniforms.
The reason for this is that HMRC say that clothes are needed for “warmth and decency“.
This was demonstrated by a high profile case involving BBC Presenter Sian Williams where her accountant argued that she would be prepared to read the news naked arguing that her clothes were a necessity of her job and should be allowable against her tax bill.
Her case failed with the precedent being set by a previous case brought by a Barrister who wished to claim her Court attire against tax. This claim was dismissed on the grounds that the clothes would be needed for “warmth and decency” and it was ordinary everyday wear which could be worn away from work whether the tax payer chose to or not.
But recently a case has permitted business clothes to be an allowable business expense.
The appeal by the tax payer succeed on the grounds that the clothes did not provide warmth or decency.
The tax payer, Gemma Daniels, was a self-employed exotic dancer working at Stringfellows. The Judge in this matter ruled that the clothing being claimed for was “not appropriate to be worn outside that club”; being “see-through” and “skimpy”. Moreover the clothing “could not be described as providing warmth and decency”.
I wonder if the Judge was called upon to examine the clothing in detail – yikes!
Moral of the story
If you do want to claim for business clothing then make sure the clothing is not warn or decent and wouldn’t be something that would be suitable for wearing outside of the Stringfellows club!
Sometimes you have to wonder if our tax system is a tiny bit bonkers.