Sports bra/tops allowable expenses for self employed fitness/gymnastics instructor?

Monsoon
Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
Are sports bra/tops allowable expenses for self employed fitness/gymnastics instructor? Note I am not talking about sports bras to be worn underneath something, I mean cropped tops that are worn and visible as outerwear.

I can't find any reference to anything relevant in the BIM but have found this in the EIM:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/eim70707.htm

If the same rules apply to self employed as employed in this case (do they? Nothing similar in BIM), then I would argue that it could fall into 'gymnastic dress' as per the link.

I'm trying to decide whether sports tops are 'ordinary' enough to fall into the everyday clothing category and therefore become disallowable. It's not normal to wear a sports bra/top oustide of exercise. Some of them are expensive because they are 'technical' in terms of support and fabric function. They are only bought for the function of wearing for work (but that was Mailleau's argument for her suit... )

I am on the fence with this one, I can see arguments for and against it.

Can anyone offer their opinions?

Thanks.

Comments

  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    Am sure if they can provide proof that it soley for the use of business and that the items are used in providing training they could be seen as allowable - however are they a uniform? do they carry the gyms logo? are others wearing the same items (not men tho that would be too funny lol)
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    Thanks A-Vic
    A-Vic wrote: »
    Am sure if they can provide proof that it soley for the use of business and that the items are used in providing training they could be seen as allowable

    Mallieau's suit was solely for business and it wasn't allowed. :/ Am I missing something?
    - however are they a uniform? do they carry the gyms logo? are others wearing the same items (not men tho that would be too funny lol)
    Assume it's one instructor teaching independently and these clothes are not logoed.

    If someone is teaching every day they will have a number of outfits, not all of which will be branded.

    (I'm sure I saw one of the Gladiator chaps wearing one on Sky3 the other day. Held his pecs in nicely!!!!!) :lol:
  • farmergiles
    farmergiles Registered Posts: 1,693
    joking aside, they could be classed as "safety equipment" because they are there for the personal protection of the client.
    When I worked in practice, handling club turns, we successfully argued that all clothing worn on stage by the "turns" didn't really have a duality of use becuase most of the clothing wouldn't or couldn't be worn offstage, the Revenue agreed to limit the add back to 50%.
    In this particular case, I would allow the claim but advise the client that "If the revenue investigate, they may argue against it and the client could have to make amends"
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    Thanks FG. I like the safety equipment angle, that's very good.

    In the case of costume for performance it is fully allowable - get that 50% removed!
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/BIM50160.htm

    I'm already in a "Arguably allowable but an inspector may well argue" stance, but I'm trying to find something a little more concrete. I realise this may not be possible until case law.... Crop tops seem just a little generic.

    What if the crop tops were branded with a nice big logo, I'm having a blonde moment, that's allowed isn't it?
  • farmergiles
    farmergiles Registered Posts: 1,693
    Stage costume is only allowed when supplied by a stage costumier. Most of the groups we used to represent were buying ordinary clothing to use as stage wear. Our argument was that, especially with the girls, they wouldn't want to be walking down the street wearing very little (like they do on stage) as a lot of them were young mums. The other argument is that because of the bright lights, people sweat more and the stitching rots quickly.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    I agree with FG it could be considered as safety/protection.

    Does this help?

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM70730.htm
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    Gem7321 wrote: »
    I agree with FG it could be considered as safety/protection.

    Does this help?

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM70730.htm

    Thanks Gem.

    I'm not sure whether the EIM can automatically apply to self employed? If it can that's great, but can anyone clarify?
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    Stage costume is only allowed when supplied by a stage costumier. Most of the groups we used to represent were buying ordinary clothing to use as stage wear. Our argument was that, especially with the girls, they wouldn't want to be walking down the street wearing very little (like they do on stage) as a lot of them were young mums. The other argument is that because of the bright lights, people sweat more and the stitching rots quickly.

    I'm sure the link I posted suggests that any clothing bought specifically for performance by a self employed person is allowable? Or am I misreading it?
  • T.C.
    T.C. Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    I would agree that they are necessary from a safety point of view...and I am sure that the argument that they could be worn elsewhere would be unjust because what woman would want to wear it to the local pub anyway! Yes... allowable expense.
  • farmergiles
    farmergiles Registered Posts: 1,693
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I'm sure the link I posted suggests that any clothing bought specifically for performance by a self employed person is allowable? Or am I misreading it?

    I haven't checked the link, I am just going on what we were told three years ago when I dealt with them
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    I haven't checked the link, I am just going on what we were told three years ago when I dealt with them

    Ah ok. You've got me doubting myself now!!

    Am basing my interpretation on this:
    The general rule for clothing costs is set out in BIM37910 where the case of Mallalieu v Drummond [1983] is discussed. In Mallalieu, Lord Brightman explained that a self-employed person could not claim a deduction for the cost of ‘a wardrobe of everyday clothes’ even if they were used solely for work. There is an inevitable non-business purpose in the acquisition of such clothing: the provision of warmth and decency.

    The Mallalieu decision does not mean that the cost of clothing is always disallowed. BIM37910 gives examples of the costs of a ‘uniform’ or protective clothing. The cost of clothing acquired for a film, stage or TV performance is also allowable. The clothing in such event is not part of ‘an everyday wardrobe'; it is ‘costume’ used in a performance.
    Example

    A self-employed television interviewer may deduct the costs of a lounge suit acquired solely for use before the cameras - it is the interviewer’s ‘costume’. By contrast, a self- employed architect who buys a suit in order to create a good impression while being interviewed on television may not have a deduction for the cost. The suit is not a self- employed performer's ‘costume’. It is 'everyday' clothing worn in the course of the architect's profession and Mallalieu v Drummond applies.

    You should also allow the cost of costume and grooming (for example hairdressing and make up) incurred by a performer making ‘personal appearances’ the sole purpose of which is to promote their business activities.
    Example

    A film actress may acquire an evening gown solely for the purpose of attending the premiere performance of her latest film. The cost of the gown is allowable. The later private use of a gown, which as a question of fact was bought solely for use at a premiere or other such occasion, does not result in disallowance of the expenditure. But if the actress bought the gown with a view to use both at the premiere and on other private occasions, no deduction is due.
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    Thats why i thought the company logo bit - because everyday clothing that can be used outside the work place is disallowable - very true a grey area - thats why i thought the company logo - however is this is s/e it could be hard to prove. Sorry not helping much
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    A-Vic wrote: »
    Thats why i thought the company logo bit - because everyday clothing that can be used outside the work place is disallowable - very true a grey area - thats why i thought the company logo - however is this is s/e it could be hard to prove. Sorry not helping much

    It's ok, it is hard to work out. So many subtle differences between some things that can be apportioned between private use, some things that are automatically disallowed due to duality of purpose, etc.... I think the protective clothing angle is great. I'm now wanting to double check my understanding of any clothes, ordinary or otherwise, bought solely as costume for performance.
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