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Tax deduction for clothing

Tax deduction for clothing

I have a client ( partnership) who are self employed funeral directors. Can they claim a deduction for the formal attire they are required to wear?


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25th Apr 2012 09:32

I'd claim it

The precedents (as per David's link) do offer a distinct lack of clarity.  In Mallalieu v Drummond, there was no question that the barrister's gown and wig (her costume when appearing in court) would have been allowable. It was the clothes she wore underneath them, for travelling to and from court (but that needed to be consistent with her court attire) that were in dispute, and ultimately disallowed.

I think there's a greater case though for arguing that an undertaker's attire is costume. Nothing further need be added to it when he's performing. I'd place it as being most proximate to the waiter's evening dress referred to in BIM37910.

You can only throw your pebble in the pond though and see if there are any ripples.

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25th Apr 2012 11:16

Be careful where you draw the line

Assuming you allow the formal suits, hats, overcoats etc (which will be the most expensive items but purchased infrequently) then you will have to consider shoes, shirts, etc (which will be less expensive but purchased more regularly).

I would be inclined to think that the suit, coat & hat forms part of the uniform (I don't think even HMRC would argue that the hat has any private benefit and the formal suit would definitely not be practical or comfortable in the height of summer) but I would be less sure about the shoes/shirts.

You may then also have to consider items such as tie pins & cuff links. These could potentially be very expensive and could arguably be necessary as part of the uniform (formal shirts tend to require cufflinks) but I don't suppose HMRC would ever entertain a claim for a £10k diamond set.




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27th Apr 2012 11:16

Go for the Barry Hearn approach............

How about having some advertising on the pocket or lapel?

Seriously, if the clothing is unlikely to be worn outside the scope of the business activities because it has the firms logo on it (banks, hairdressers etc have done this for years) then you are home and dry.

Even a label on the waitband of trousers complies.


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27th Apr 2012 14:55


I had an undertaker client investigated by the Revenue about seven years ago.  Their attitude was that the 'uniform' had a dual purpose, as he had to wear something into the church, and so was not wholly and exclusively expenditure of the business.  However dry cleaning costs were allowed.

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27th Apr 2012 15:19


Off point a bit, but when I was a COT and looking for a "non-taxpayer" I happened into a building which turned out to be an Undertaker's workshop (no bodies at the time).  Their black humour was brilliant.  If only they had fallen  behind with their dues I could have gone back for another comedic visit!


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17th May 2012 06:35

Tax for formal dresses and on my dress shop


Well I think so that tax is required on the clothing and specially on the formal attire. I am running a Dress Shop and I have to pay the tax for the Bride Dresses.

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