Share this content

T-Shirts for subbies

T-Shirts for subbies

Normally, of course, clothes are not tax deductible for either employees or sole traders (unless they are protective like hard hats, safety boots, etc) but in this case a sole trader client in the construction industry bought a job lot of T-shirts showing the name of his business and got his subbies to wear them on-site. He does not have employees so no question of a taxable benefit.

I guess they are more like a uniform as you would never wear a T-shirt showing the firm's name off-site (unless your washing machine was broken). On the other hand, T-shirts are normal clothes and fail the duality test. Must have been previous cases like this I'd have thought.

No problem on the VAT front as they are less than £50 each, bear a conspicuous advert and, as far as I am aware, nobody has eaten one yet.

Could we claim them against tax as advertising or would we have to disallow them as business gifts or.....clothes!


Please login or register to join the discussion.

28th Jun 2012 12:40

I would allow it

Under the uniform guidance.  One of my block paving clients had t shirts printed saying "get laid with xyz driveways" or words to that effect.  I decided that was allowable, even though the censor people may have had a problem with it.

Thanks (1)
28th Jun 2012 12:56

I would allow them, too.

Even if they didn't qualify as uniforms, they would probably qualify as gifts/advertising.

Thanks (1)
28th Jun 2012 13:31

The question of duality of purpose...

... can only arise in respect of the proprietor. I don't suppose he's to bothered if the poor dears get cold, and common decency is way down the list of concerns for most construction workers.

Thanks (0)
By cfield
28th Jun 2012 13:28


I believe the T-shirts are long enough to prevent incidences of "builders bottom" so the decency issue may come into play. As the sole trader probably wears one too, it may be open to attack on that score, although the correspondence would be farcical.

Thanks (0)
Share this content