Hairdresser Clothing Expenses

Gemwor FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 21
Hi All,

A self employed mobile hairdresser has been in touch asking about claiming tax relief for clothing on her tax return. No branded clothing or uniform is worn. She tends to wear dark clothing and of course it gets replaced often due to staining from colouring but it is essentially ordinary clothing. My initial response is no that is not allowable but she has been talking to other hairdressing friends who say they are claiming it. Just to satisfy her I contacted HMRC via webchat and the agent didn't know the answer so went to check and then came back and said this would be allowable. I'm still not convinced this is right. The HMRC guides seem quite clear to me that uniforms or protective clothing (aprons/gloves etc in this case) is allowable but ordinary clothing cannot be claimed.

This is all irrelevant anyway as she's below the threshold for tax! But I would like some opinions on this for future reference.

Thanks in advance.


  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    I agree with you - I suggest she wears an apron if she is worried about stains!
  • Gemwor
    Gemwor FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 21
    I was quite confident that I was right but she's been so insistent I felt I needed to check. Thanks both for taking the time to reply
  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    If HMRC are happy to put their conclusion in writing then by all means claim the costs!
  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    I'd definitely say no. Uniform or protective yes but plain basic clothing, no!

  • gwenb
    gwenb MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 42
    Thinking about what you said about your client: "She tends to wear dark clothing" maybe it's the case of her buying and using the typical hairdressers' clothes (black t-shirt, trousers and/or tights) as means of uniform?
    Thinking about it from a different perspective: If she worked in a salon and wore a uniform there (uniform being the above mentioned) and if she had to supply that herself, then she would be able to claim back the costs as a business expense, right?
    So, if we take those "dark clothes" as a uniform (only t-shirts and tights or black trousers that is) I think it could be an allowable expense.
    I'd like to hear your thoughts :)
  • CSan89
    CSan89 MAAT Posts: 207
    I would go along the lines of that her clothes could be protected from staining by wearing an apron which is protective equipment and allowable but the plain clothing isn't.
    AAT Level 2&3 - 2016
    AAT Level 4 - 2017
    Personal Tax, Business Tax and External Auditing

    ACA/CTA -
    Certificate Level - Jan 2019
  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    The test isn't whether she only wears such clothing at work but whether they "could" be worn otherwise. Most people only wear a suit and tie at work but it doesn't make it an allowable business cost. Buying a black T shirt and black trousers from a high street retailer doesn't make it any more allowable in my opinion.
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