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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of teachers, lecturers and tutors: school teachers' expenses: sports clothing

Sections 336 ITEPA 2003

In dealing with expenses deductions for teachers who are contractually obliged to teach or supervise physical education or sports, the cost of replacing and maintaining what is recognisably games kit will normally be allowable.

Queries frequently arise in relation to items such as towels, tee-shirts, sweat-shirts and outdoor clothing which, if worn or used outside work, could not be recognised as sports clothing or accessories. No deduction should be permitted for such items.

On the other hand, in dealing with items such as training-shoes or track-suits, do not refuse a deduction because, as fashions have changed, these items would conceivably now be regarded as ordinary clothing. Nor should a deduction be refused merely on the basis that the clothing may incidentally have been worn when the teacher took part in sporting activity outside the college or school.

Make further enquiries if:

  • taking one year with another the amount to be deducted appears to be excessive, or
  • it seems that substantial expenditure relates mainly to out-of-school or voluntary activities. (An example would be clothing for a sport that occupied little of the employee’s teaching time, but which he or she plays at a representative level elsewhere.)

Do not give a deduction where the expenditure fails the wholly and exclusively test, see EIM32455.