There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to what can be claimed as workwear/clothing costs when it comes to most businesses. The simple HMRC rule basically boils down to if the item of clothing can also be worn for non-related work occasions, tax relief can’t be claimed.
This HMRC ruling is taken from the case of a lady barrister, who tried to claim tax relief on the suits she bought to wear for court appearances. As these suits could have been worn on other occasions that didn’t relate to her work and didn’t meet the ‘wholly and exclusively’ rule, tax relief was refused.
Branded workwear or clearly identifiable uniforms are allowable and if, for example, you purchased plain t-shirts to then be embroidered with your company logo, these would be also be allowable costs for tax relief. However, if the uniform for your business was a plain, un-branded, black t-shirt and trousers/skirt, the costs of purchasing these would be disallowable due to the fact they could be worn out of work as well.
There are some exceptions, say if you’re an entertainer and work as Coco the clown or perform as Agnetha in an Abba Tribute act, you can claim tax relief on items bought as a costume or anything purchase in the line of work which doesn’t form part of your ‘everyday wardrobe’.
Protective clothing is also allowable so if you’re a builder or other tradesperson required to use PPE, the cost of steel toe-capped boots or building gloves/helmets can be included but…those cargo shorts/trousers, however handy they are with all those pockets, can be worn outside of work so are not allowable.
If you have any questions on any of the above, or are unsure whether you can claim a cost or not, please give us a call on 01865 379272 and we’ll be happy to assist you.