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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Other expenses: club subscriptions

Club membership is mainly a personal and social matter, giving rise to amenities and privileges limited to members. Any suggestion that the cost of membership of a club is deductible as a necessary expense incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment should normally be rejected.

The leading case is Brown v Bullock (40TC1). The case is described at EIM31647. It could not be said that the taxpayer was performing the duties of his employment when paying the subscription for the club.

The case of Elwood v Utitz (42TC482) is a very unusual exception to this general rule. It was held that the benefits obtained by the club subscription in that case were purely incidental to the business purpose of the payment. The case is described at EIM31664.

If a membership fee is paid by an employer for a director or employee within the benefits code see EIM21696.