Tax Relief on Clothing

A very common question for most business owners is whether or not they can claim tax relief on clothing. The basic principle for an expense to be allowed is that it must be incurred wholly and exclusively for business, i.e. for work purposes. 

HMRC’s Stand Point

HMRC’s view follows on from a basic principle established from case law. The case Mallalieu v Drummond decided that the primary purpose of clothing is for decency and warmth. This thereby fails the exclusivity purpose in ‘wholly and exclusively’.


However, there are certain exceptions to the above where clothing costs can be claimed in full. These types of clothes include uniforms or special clothing required for the purposes of a job. Some common examples of such clothing are uniforms (police, nurse, etc.), costumes (for actors, TV presenter suit, etc.) and protective clothing (helmets for workers on a building site, etc.). 


Any clothing that is allowable for a tax deduction will also qualify for input VAT recovery.

AJN Accountants are specialists in helping contractors, freelancers and small businesses to save tax and time.

Please contact us for more information:

T: 020 3866 8951

Follow AJN Accountants on Twitter for regular updates.