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Expenses that can be claimed if I work as a dancer/stripper Self Assessment HMRc

Expenses that can be claimed if I work as a...

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Hello,

I am having a big dilemma. What can be claimed if you work as a dancer/ stripper in a night club? I am struggling because I have completed a self assessment tax return and I have tried to deduct some expenses related with this kind of work. Eg: Nails, Hair, Make-up, Gym,Dresses etc. 

My accountant asked me for all the invoices and receipts that I have and I want to claim as expenses. In my work contract are stipulated some clauses where it says that the dancer needs to be well presented and there is a  specific dress code: High heels ,cocktail dresses, long dresses, make up, lingerie etc. Another criteria requested is to stay fit otherwise you will be fired.

After the self assessment was completed and sent, I received a letter from HMRC saying that all the things mentioned above have an obvious duality and therefore not allowable. The main question is: If this expenses aren't related with this job, what else is?

Because in my opinion this are the only expenses that can be claimed in this field of work. The HMRC advisor considers that all my income is a profit and nothing can be deducted. I think this is not fair because it is obviously necessary to invest in those things in order to perform this job.

Can anyone advise me in this matter?

What response should I give back to HMRC advisor and how can I explain that the expenses are related with work? If anyone can help I will really appreciate it .

If you need more details please let me know. Thank you!

Replies (33)

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By thomas34
23rd Apr 2016 13:10

Great Post

and is a lot more interesting than a lot recently.

On a technical level HMRC have the law on their side. The case of Mallieu v Drummond really put an end to the argument, where a barrister lady's gowns were disallowed because they could have been worn elsewhere (presumably at a fancy dress party) and therefore had a duality of purpose.

In practice HMRC sometimes turn a blind eye to that rule providing that the clothes are only worn in the course of the trade. Your accountant should know all of this.

Some people get all the interesting clients.

 

 

 

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RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd Apr 2016 13:14

Gowns ?

thomas34 wrote:

and is a lot more interesting than a lot recently.

On a technical level HMRC have the law on their side. The case of Mallieu v Drummond really put an end to the argument, where a barrister lady's gowns were disallowed because they could have been worn elsewhere (presumably at a fancy dress party) and therefore had a duality of purpose.

Not the gowns.  White blouses, black skirts, black tights, as I recall.

Wigs and gowns were fine.  The ruling on wigs may well be of assistance to the OP, obviously.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
23rd Apr 2016 13:29

Have you not gone back to your accountant
If he is your appointed agent he should have also got the letter what has he said.

Why did you contact the tax people yourself?

From the tax return it would not be obvious that what these items were has you are your accountant already responded and provided details of the costumes or whatever you wear and have claimed.

Do you not feel your agent is up to dealing with it.

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By Jimmy Proby
24th Apr 2016 18:47

I agree

Glennzy wrote:
If he is your appointed agent he should have also got the letter what has he said. Why did you contact the tax people yourself? From the tax return it would not be obvious that what these items were has you are your accountant already responded and provided details of the costumes or whatever you wear and have claimed. Do you not feel your agent is up to dealing with it.
I agree. I would be very interested in dealing with your situation, as long as you are not too far away from me, at dealing with your case at a nominal fee just to get one up on HMRC. I have dealt with entertainers before in the singing and band leading sectors and have never had any expenses turned down. There will be certain clothing, that you wear, that would not have any duality because of public decency.
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By mabzden
23rd Apr 2016 13:33

Mallieu v Drummond

From what I remember in Mallieu v Drummond the barrister's wig and gowns were allowable but the black dresses the female barrister wore underneath were disallowed. The Court said the taxpayer had to wear clothes under the gown for "public decency", so the dresses couldn't be classified as wholly and exclusively for the purposes of trade.

Tricky one then for a stripper as wearing clothes for public decency would defeat the object...

If it were me I would claim all of the clothing, shoes, nails, make up etc used when performing or at work. You may have to convince HMRC that you don't wear these clothes at other times, and that they're a "uniform" you need to wear while at work.

If you change into normal clothing to go home these wouldn't be allowable as the public decency angle would come in at that point. I also think claiming the cost of gym membership is a stretch, as you gain a personal benefit from your membership.

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By Tim Vane
23rd Apr 2016 13:37

HMRC cannot possibly have known what you were claiming for if your return had been completed correctly. Secondly, they would have written to your tax adviser. Funny post though.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
23rd Apr 2016 13:51

How many PM's have your had.
Can I ask how many private messages you have had by people offering to sort it out for you.

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Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
23rd Apr 2016 14:30

Dancers etc

I've had a number of dancers, strippers and escorts on my books. To date, I haven't had any enquiries from HMRC in respect of these clients, but I have always put through claims for costume, and the Mallieu v Drummond I believe rested on warmth and decency being the duality which, for a stripper, is not a factor. The HMRC manual on costume clearly states that if costume is purchased for work, then it's allowable.

 

To be honest, if you're already at a arguing with HMRC stage, you need to be representd by a professoinal advisor who is both experienced in arguing these claims with HMRC and preferable also with your industry. Good luck!

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By DSP Financial Management
23rd Apr 2016 15:22

Tools of the trade and appropriate uniform for

the job.

Your list is far too wide in its aspect, and too general in its purpose, and was bound to fail the duality test. Reducing your expenses claim to those items that could be considered unique, as well as specific to your work, could receive a much more favourable airing at HMRC.

It is for you to disprove this duality contention.

You would be advised to identify these specific expenses, and talk again to your filing accountant. Gym membership subscriptions will fail.  

Indeed how many PMs have you had ?

 

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
23rd Apr 2016 18:07

Who is Mallieu?

The lady's name (and she is now a Lady) was Mallalieu.  Have a look at HMRC's BIM37910.

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By mikeyban
23rd Apr 2016 20:52

Yes but
Many commentators feel that HMRC would now lose the said case of MallIalieu based on the retest of the same facts as presented...

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By Mouse007
23rd Apr 2016 21:23

PMs ?

More to the point how many emails have you received ?

 

 

 

 

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By SKCOX
23rd Apr 2016 22:54

Rule of thumb

As I explain it to my clients, if it gets you pointed at or laughed at in the street, it's probably allowable. One of my clients is a glam rock 70s tribute band, which involves glitter, stack heels, big hair, silver jump suits etc. I would have no problem defending those items as costume.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
25th Apr 2016 12:32

So, does everyone who still wears cords get tax relief?

SKCOX wrote:

As I explain it to my clients, if it gets you pointed at or laughed at in the street, it's probably allowable. One of my clients is a glam rock 70s tribute band, which involves glitter, stack heels, big hair, silver jump suits etc. I would have no problem defending those items as costume.

So, does everyone who still wears cords get tax relief?

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By SKCOX
25th Apr 2016 21:22

Lecturers

DJKL wrote:

SKCOX wrote:

As I explain it to my clients, if it gets you pointed at or laughed at in the street, it's probably allowable. One of my clients is a glam rock 70s tribute band, which involves glitter, stack heels, big hair, silver jump suits etc. I would have no problem defending those items as costume.

So, does everyone who still wears cords get tax relief?

Only lecturers in sociology.

 

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RLI
By lionofludesch
24th Apr 2016 17:57

Gym is, I'd say, doubtful.  Make-up ...... depends.

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DougScott
By Dougscott
25th Apr 2016 17:21

Would gym be disallowable for an athlete? Or gym equipment?

Dancers of any sort have to be very fit so I would suggest this is necessary for their job.

 

 

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By oldiegoldy
24th Apr 2016 20:44

May be you did not write the full business decription on the tax return hence the query was raised.

Anyway anything wholly and exclusively spent on items that enabled you to perfom your duty i.e dresses, wigs, shoes etc are deducable expenses.

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By In a Daze
24th Apr 2016 23:03

HMRC

I can see duality in Nails,Hair,Make-up and your gym membership. I can also see problems with cocktail dresses , long dresses and high heels as mentioned in your post.

I should imagine you do have some outfits that would be allowable.

 

 

 

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By geoffmw1
25th Apr 2016 12:22

Gym membership

In the same way as a sportsman's training expenses are allowable if the sportsman is self employed I would have said that the need to keep fit for a dancer is also such that there is only an incidental personal benefit rather than duality of purpose.

You have to convince HMRC that you would not be using a gym if you were not working.

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By paddy55
25th Apr 2016 12:51

Exotic dancer

The general principle regarding clothes is that any clothes that can be worn both at work and elsewhere are not deductible. But any clothes that can normally be worn only at work  such as uniform, overalls,aprons etc are deductible.

With regard to other expenses, if they were incurred solely for the job and provided no benefit outside of the job, then they would be deductible.

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By Duggimon
25th Apr 2016 14:32

That's a rule of thumb

paddy55 wrote:

The general principle regarding clothes is that any clothes that can be worn both at work and elsewhere are not deductible. But any clothes that can normally be worn only at work  such as uniform, overalls,aprons etc are deductible.

 

That's a rule of thumb and open to challenge though. If the facts of the matter are that the taxpayer goes to work and changes into clothes there that are necessary to the work and then changes out of them before leaving then HMRC couldn't argue that the clothes had any purpose other than work and they would be an allowable expense. In this case the nature of the clothes themselves is entirely irrelevant.

Of course, if the taxpayer wears the clothes anywhere else including on the way to work then this no longer holds.

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Portia profile image
By Portia Nina Levin
25th Apr 2016 14:35

Thank you for your email address.

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By Carlos_Fandango
25th Apr 2016 14:37


Are we looking at a self employed person with a turnover low enough so that only sales, expenses and profit need be declared...if so, how does HMRC know what has been claimed?

Even if above the limit and a full breakdown of expenses is required, I can't see how they can disallow all the expenses...an add back for private use perhaps but, disallowing all expenses?! 

Or are we looking at employment and the much more difficult wholly, exclusively and necessarily when trying to claim deductions?

And, it's not stripper, it's exotic dancer!

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By steveodem
25th Apr 2016 14:41

Liberace in the USA

I am in the USA and have greatly enjoyed this thread, especially the posts by SKCOX and paddy55.

It all reminds be of the pianist and entertainer Liberace who routinely wore extraordinarily elaborate costumes for performances, and he deducted the costumes.  IRS audited him and disallowed the deductions.  He sued IRS and in court wore one or more of his costumes.  He stood up and asked the judge if the judge would wear the costume. 

LIberace won the case. 

 

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By Duggimon
25th Apr 2016 14:54

Good anecdote

steveodem wrote:

I am in the USA and have greatly enjoyed this thread, especially the posts by SKCOX and paddy55.

It all reminds be of the pianist and entertainer Liberace who routinely wore extraordinarily elaborate costumes for performances, and he deducted the costumes.  IRS audited him and disallowed the deductions.  He sued IRS and in court wore one or more of his costumes.  He stood up and asked the judge if the judge would wear the costume. 

LIberace won the case. 

 

 

Good anecdote but surely by wearing it to court he ensured the outfit failed the wholly and exclusively test since he was not working at the time, I would have thought that would doom his case rather than make it.

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By steveodem
25th Apr 2016 21:10

"(W)holly and exclusively..."

"(W)holly and exclusively..." is not part of the law in the US.  Rather, the point is better "What is the business purpose?"

He was well known for being flamboyant, and made his case of enhancing his business presence.  Case closed.

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Portia profile image
By Portia Nina Levin
25th Apr 2016 17:34

I suggest that anybody that is unclear about the application of the wholly and exclusively rule (necessity only comes into it for an employee, but we are not really sure about employment status) in relation to gym expenditure, see the Parsons decision:

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/TC/2010/TC00421.html

But hey, let us all have a good piss[***] in the wind in the hope of a private show. Come on, 20+ posts when there is sweet FA to go on in the OP and it sounds like a wind up.

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By Caber Feidh
26th Apr 2016 00:35

Are these clothes designed for a specific purpose?

I have led a cloistered existence so my comments on the attire of dancers and strippers may not be well informed.

Clothes that the OP would wear as an exotic dancer do not seem at first sight to be clothes that she (I assume the OP is a she) could also wear for “public decency” (as required in the “Mallalieu” judgment).

If the OP needs to discard these clothes rapidly and teasingly as part of her act then they would seem to be “of a special character dictated by the occupation”. Her audience might not be impressed if she just stood on the stage for ten minutes trying to undo all her buttons. Conversely, the constabulary might not be impressed if she wore work clothes that blew off as she walked the streets.

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By Jimmy Proby
26th Apr 2016 07:44

My opinion also

Caber Feidh wrote:

I have led a cloistered existence so my comments on the attire of dancers and strippers may not be well informed.

Clothes that the OP would wear as an exotic dancer do not seem at first sight to be clothes that she (I assume the OP is a she) could also wear for “public decency” (as required in the “Mallalieu” judgment).

If the OP needs to discard these clothes rapidly and teasingly as part of her act then they would seem to be “of a special character dictated by the occupation”. Her audience might not be impressed if she just stood on the stage for ten minutes trying to undo all her buttons. Conversely, the constabulary might not be impressed if she wore work clothes that blew off as she walked the streets.

well said Caber!
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By geoffmw1
26th Apr 2016 15:23

A self employed person

as previously indicated does not need to pass an exclusively test, The requirement is wholly and necessarily. 

However we now come to the real point. Is the OP really self employed? No doubt some of those in that trade go from club to club and would be. Some can also make money from club customers.

There is so much more to this than we have been told.

The earlier suggestion to take her case up with an accountant who is properly experienced in the entertainmemt world and tax matters would be well worth using. As I am retired I can't offer to take this case on.

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By Swedish Chef
26th Apr 2016 17:19

Surely not.....?!

geoffmw1 wrote:

as previously indicated does not need to pass an exclusively test, The requirement is wholly and necessarily. 

It's the necessarily part that doesn't apply to the self-employed.  Exclusively is a must!

 

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/bim37000.htm

 

 

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