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Just as everyone has to “eat to live”, everyone needs to wear something for “warmth and decency”. Therefore most clothes don’t full under the category of wholly and exclusively a business expense as there is a duality of purpose. HMRC uses the phrase “everyday wardrobe” with regards to clothing expenses. The purchase of clothing that could conceivably form part of your everyday wardrobe, i.e. could be worn outside of the work environment, is not an allowable expense for the business .

 

What HMRC do allow:

 
  • Protective clothing required for your work such as high-vis vests, helmets, safety boots, overalls, trousers with padded knees etc. These type of items would normally be bought from a specialist supplier or builders merchant.
  • Uniforms, such as a chef’s outfit. Only the actual uniform garments are allowed. There is a grey area over clothing that has a company logo put on, HMRC’s view is: “Fixing a permanent and conspicuous badge to what would otherwise be ordinary clothing may be enough to make it a uniform, but each case must be considered on its merits.”

If the clothing purchase doesn’t meet the criteria above:

If employers provide his includes clothing employees wear at work that isn’t necessary protective clothing or a uniform, then this is a benefit in kind and the employer must: