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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Other expenses: clothing: protective clothing

A deduction can be permitted for the cost of genuinely protective clothing that is worn as a matter of physical necessity because of the nature of the job and where the employee must bear the cost. This will typically cover items such as overalls, protective gloves and boots.

In the case of Woodcock v CIR (51TC698) the taxpayer wanted a deduction for the cost of ordinary clothing worn underneath protective clothing and for his shoes and glasses worn at work. A deduction was refused because none of this clothing can be said to be worn wholly and exclusively in performing the duties of the employment.

Where you accept that a deduction can be permitted for items of protective clothing you should not also permit a deduction for other clothing worn at the same time, see example EIM32471.