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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Other expenses: clothing: specialist clothing

The Courts have recognised that there may be exceptions to the general rule in EIM32455 that the cost of clothing is not deductible.

The rules for computing taxable business profits contain a similar rule that expenses must be incurred wholly and exclusively for a business purpose. In the Trading Income case of Caillebotte v Quinn (50TC222) Templeman J commented that:

“the cost of protective clothing worn in the course of carrying on a trade will be deductible, because warmth and decency are incidental to the protection necessary to the carrying on of the trade.

In the same way a deduction can be permitted from earnings for the cost of protective clothing, see EIM32470. In the case of Hillyer v Leeke (51TC90)Goulding J recognised that the cost of clothing could be deductible where the clothing is:

“of a special character dictated by the occupation as a matter of physical necessity.”

We also accept that specialist clothing can include clothing that is a uniform or part of a uniform, see EIM32475.

A deduction can only be permitted where the employee must provide the specialist clothing at his or her own expense.