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HMRC internal manual

VAT Input Tax

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Legal history: cases about clothing

Please note that the following material is not a full summary of the case - it merely highlights the principle referred to in the appropriate section of this manual.

Brown (BJ) VTD 6552

HMRC disallowed input tax claimed against the purchase of clothes. The business argued that the clothing was intended to cultivate a professional image that would attract the attention of prospective clients. The tribunal held the claim was not valid because the business had not established that the cost was for the purpose of the business.

Hill (JK) & Mansell (SJ) (t/a JK Hill & Co) 1988 STC 424

Two retailers claimed input tax on the cost of the suits they wore at work. The tribunal held that the claim was not valid. This is because it is not a business expense to dress well and conform to the standards of a particular lifestyle.