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Can I claim for the business suits I wear solely for my business meetings?

My mate says… ‘I can claim for the business suits I wear solely for my business meetings’.

HMRC defines an allowable expense as wholly and exclusively for business purposes.
You cannot claim for everyday clothing such as suits (even if you wear it for work).

HMRC have won cases on the basis that the workwear could have been worn on occasions that didn’t relate to business. Clothing that could be deemed as part of an everyday/casual outfit is not allowable for tax relief.

Other workwear is allowable, for example protective clothing or uniforms. (you can claim for the cost of your steel capped shoes and helmets etc).


Sadly, you cannot purchase a suit and call this your uniform. HMRC defines a uniform as ‘a set of clothing of a specialised nature that is recognisable as a uniform and is intended to identify its wearer as having a particular occupation’. So, unless you have tailored suits that are made with a fixed logo specific to your company of employment and it is company policy that you wear it then you’re out of luck.

Clothing will not be defined as a uniform if all employees in the same employment wear clothing of a similar design or colour.

What do HMRC  class as a uniform?

Fixing a permanent and conspicuous badge to ordinary clothing may be enough to make it a uniform, but HMRC will still question whether a person in the street would readily recognise it as a uniform. As previously mentioned, embroidered logos could help your case claiming your clothing as uniform rather than the attachment of a name badge.

What won’t be classed as a uniform:

Ordinary everyday clothing such as jeans, plain jumpers, socks and underwear can’t be claimed, as these are normal items of clothing. Unfortunately, there isn’t an underpants allowance!

If you need some clarification on the advice you’ve received from your mate, please feel free to get in touch by phone or email.

01908 219100

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Posted in: My Mate Says