Can I claim?
Clothing which is required in order to carry out your job can be included for tax relief purposes if you are self-employed. However, not all types of work clothing are eligible for tax relief; they will generally be excluded if they can be used for any other purpose.
Any specialised work clothing can be entered under "Computer & Office Equipment - Other Equipment" on your SimpleTax Self-Employed page.
There are a range of occupations which require specialist clothing; this might be protective (such as in the construction industry), uniforms as well as costumes (such as the types entertainers may need to wear).
The cost of work clothing can be very significant but in some cases this can be offset against a tax liability but the rules are far from straightforward.
HMRC stipulates that in order to qualify for tax relief, something must be used “wholly and exclusively” for business purposes; anything that has duality of purpose can fall within a very grey area.
As far as clothing is concerned, if it is required solely for the purposes of work and could not be used or considered part of an everyday wardrobe, you should be able to claim tax relief on the item. A boiler suit and steel-capped boots for example are not items which are typically found in a wardrobe so are permissible.
Uniforms are considered the same way but take care over anything which is considered an unofficial uniform, or a style of clothing which is expected for the job; these will probably not be eligible for tax relief.
For example, if you are an accountant but out of work, prefer to lounge in cargo pants and jeans, you cannot claim tax relief on a smart suit and shoes just because it isn't your usual personal style. A suit could easily be considered as part of a normal wardrobe and would therefore not be deemed as wholly and exclusively for work use.
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