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Allowable Expense for Model? - 40 Hair Cuts!

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Similar question to this one Haircuts etc deductible for self-employed musician? | AccountingWEB however in this case related to a model, where I think physical appearance is more business related than a musician. 

My client is a model. His advertised profile in the agency website has a clean shaved head with a trimmed beard, so if he is selected for a shoot or an audition, that’s the image the client expects to see on the self tape. He has had 90 auditions and has provided EDIT: 40 barbers receipts of £15 each, so £600 on expenses (I had given wrong numbers of £1,350 by mistake on the original post).  

I explained that hair cuts would only be allowed if they are exclusively and wholly for the business. For example, they require you a specific hair cut that you don't usually have on your private life. 

His argument is that he would allow the hair to grow more if he didn't have those auditions, therefore the hair cut is exclusively and wholly for the business. 
"I only have this hair cut because it gives me money. Who wants to be bald when you can have a longer hair?"

I have to admit part of me almost agrees with his argument!  Does any of you have experience with models, and does Mallalieu v Drummond apply here? 
Little joke: At Mallalieu v Drummond, the argument to disallow was that "the clothing enabled the barrister to be warm and properly clad, as well as allowing her to work in her profession". Definitely not warmer after this hair cut!

Thanks in advance, and happy Thursday.

Replies (20)

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By jonharris999
21st Apr 2022 12:24

I vote to allow. He's told you he isn't doing it for personal reasons - indeed that his personal preference would be not to do it.

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Replying to jonharris999:
seneca
By Seneca
21st Apr 2022 13:18

Thanks for the feedback.

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By The Dullard
21st Apr 2022 13:00

Nothing in it directly applies, but see BIM50150, which used to give the example of a female actor buying a dress for a red carpet event being allowable.

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Replying to The Dullard:
seneca
By Seneca
21st Apr 2022 13:20

Thank you. I could not find this case you are mentioning on BIM50150 or Googling it. From your description, what was the difference between the red dress and Mallalieu v Drummond?

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Replying to Seneca:
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By The Dullard
21st Apr 2022 13:31

There was no difference really. It just wasn't the sort of thing she'd have ordinarily worn. It's probably why they've done away with it.

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Replying to The Dullard:
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By More unearned luck
21st Apr 2022 13:54

That paragraph is no longer extant (renumbered 50160?) and in any event the sub-paragraph about the dress was excised about seven years ago (on Mallalieu grounds?) but the full version is still available via national archives.

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By Tax Dragon
21st Apr 2022 17:30

I assume he didn't model your avatar.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
seneca
By Seneca
21st Apr 2022 18:32

No he didn´t, most of images from Seneca the Young are full of hair...! But you just reminded me of the paradox of Eubulides which I had to Google to get a reminder (in Spain, studying philosophy and Latin at High School was compulsory until recently): A man with a full head of hair that is obviously not bald. Now the removal of a single hair will not turn a non-bald man into a bald one. And yet it is obvious that a continuation of that process must eventually result in baldness.

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By rmillaree
22nd Apr 2022 08:37

The main danger i see here is if your client is not 100% honest or does not understrand the subtelties of the situation. I suspect it would only take one "wrongly timed" haircut claim to evidence your clients arguments are sketchy or bogus-ideally they need to provide reasonable evidence that "every" haircut they claim for in necessary for business purposes - keeping details of non business related haircuts (presuming there are some - there may not be if they need to keep their bonce up to the standards of the rock) would be a good indication that the individual knows the rules and is only claiming for what they should be claiming for.

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By JCresswellTax
22nd Apr 2022 09:59

£600 on expenses? 'Reasonable' argument? Claim it.

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
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By Seneca
22nd Apr 2022 10:34

Thank you rmillarae and JCresswell. I am learning little by little accounting has a lot of risk measurement on decision making!

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By eppingaccountant
22nd Apr 2022 10:32

HMRC will have his scalp!!

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By leekris
22nd Apr 2022 12:40

I’ve had several clients in this trade and have generally been comfortable with claiming for things like this. I have had no challenge from HMRC, though may have just been lucky.

“Wholly and exclusive” sounds restrictive but in practice I don’t see a problem with the haircuts as one has a strong enough case and the size of the claim isn’t huge. Models may though have other similar expenses that might reduce profits to the point HMRC could get interested.

I think in practice one gets a feel for what is reasonable. Where the legal position may not be 100% clear, does it pass the “not taking the p***” test ? I’d say it does.

But I agree that one should be clear to the client about the subtleties of the position and that it could be open to challenge.

If the client was unlucky and got called in to meet an inspector usually I’d suggest they look well-presented but in this case it would be supportive if the taxpayer arrived scruffy and long-haired !

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Replying to leekris:
seneca
By Seneca
22nd Apr 2022 12:54

"it would be supportive if the taxpayer arrived scruffy and long-haired !"

Thanks for the advice and make me laugh right before the weekend! :)

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By tonyaustin
22nd Apr 2022 12:59

How often does he get called for shoots without hair? Does he grow his hair between shoots and have a haircut and head shave only when needed?

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Replying to tonyaustin:
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By jonharris999
22nd Apr 2022 13:49

Remember that it's not only shoots, it's also meetings/castings/etc which are in effect 'interviews' for engagements.

Nowadays many in this and related industries are asked to send "self-tapes" to prospective engagers, casting directors, other agents - often at very short notice (eg please send it today is a very common request).....these need to be a contemporaneous and pretty constant maintained statement of the person's professional appearance.

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By Adam12345
22nd Apr 2022 13:38

Duality of purpose in my opinion.

The dress for a red carpet event is very different as you can take a dress off...

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Replying to Adam12345:
seneca
By Seneca
22nd Apr 2022 13:44

Thanks Adam. I see your point too. I just submitted his SA claiming it, so fingers crossed!

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Replying to Adam12345:
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By The Dullard
22nd Apr 2022 14:04

You can also put it back on again at a time when you're not being an actor.

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By djokhoo
23rd Apr 2022 21:09

Considering "Wholly & Exclusively"

To avoid any issues-you could claim
the £600 less what would be considered "normal" cost incurred for regular haircuts & frequency of such cuts.

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