There are certain circumstances under which clothing is considered an allowable expense, and this guide will explain when you can and cannot claim for clothing.

Clothing that meets certain criteria is allowed as an expense without constituting a benefit in kind. This clothing must be either necessary protective clothing, or branded work uniform, which can only be worn whilst carrying out your duties.


In order for protective clothing to be considered necessary there must be a physical need for such items to protect a worker in the course of carrying out their duties. Items such as hard hats, protective gloves and steel toed boots would all come under this heading for someone working on a construction site, or overalls and gloves for a mechanic.


Clothing that is classified as a uniform is usually defined as whether an individual wearing the uniform would be easily recognised as wearing a uniform. This is generally considered to mean something akin to a nurse’s or doctor’s uniform.


If your workplace has a dress code, but the clothing specified is generic, such as a suit or something which allows you to stay warm or cool depending on the role you perform, then the purchase of appropriate clothing is not considered an allowable expense. If clothing is provided in these circumstances then this would create a benefit in kind, as does any clothing provided which does not fall within the scope of the tax free exemption, meaning it will attract tax and National Insurance liabilities.


For detailed advice on what you can and can’t claim when it comes to clothing and a range of other expenses, consulting a specialist accountant is always the best way to reassure you that you are applying the guidelines correctly. It can be tough to keep on top of your workload and ensure that your finances are all in good order, but our experienced accountants will help you to keep all your paperwork up to date and help you to save money in the process.


If you wish to learn more about the packages that we put together especially for independent professionals then call us today on 01253 362062 or email