Browsing Tag


0 In Stories from an Accountant

What Not to Wear

What Not To Wear - Account-ant

This one might show my age a bit but what the hey!

I remember when I was a kid watching The Clothes Show on a Sunday night (at least I think it was a Sunday), and marvelling at the fashion. My absolute favourite presenter was Caryn Franklin because I loved her hair and the way she talked. I was also very fond of Jeff Banks.

I still remember the theme tune  – I just YouTube’d it and had a little couch dance whilst writing this blog. James very rightly pointed out that it’s Pet Shop Boys.

Fast forward a few years and I’m an avid watcher of “What Not To Wear”… Trinny & Susannah were a bit posh and blunt, and I found it very entertaining.

Now as any teenage girl growing up in the 90s and 00s will tell you, it was ALL about girl power, pedal pushers and scousers (and I don’t mean the people from Liverpool, haha).

Rachel Account-ant

Despite watching endless fashion shows, I admit I have never really had my finger on that pulse… I’m mostly found in skinny jeans, a side parting and a black t-shirt, which apparently according to Gen Z is sooooooo old school (and not in a good way).

So as I meet new clients and consciously make an effort, I cannot help but think about how this might be treated in someone’s accounts or tax return (yes, I am that nerdy, but hopefully in a good way 😉).

When you are self employed, you may be thinking you need some clothing for work, maybe some glasses or contact lenses, a new pair of shoes?  

It’s all about personal branding at the moment, and looking good and making a good impression is important, right?!

Well hold on a minute… it’s not tax deductible unless it’s “wholly and exclusively for use in your business”.

A good example would be: a hairdresser wears clothing to their salon that will most likely end up being destroyed by hair dye.  But, their clothes could be worn for leisure purposes too, so HMRC will not allow these expenses as tax deductible.

The only items that are clearly tax deductible are overalls (i.e. if you are a painter and decorator), items with your logo/name on, safety googles / shoes or a uniform.

Contact lenses are also a big no no, BUT if you have two pairs of glasses and one stays at work, that point can be argued, as that pair is wholly and exclusively used for work purposes.

You can also claim for repairs or cleaning of the allowable items.

So, before you get excited and buy yourself tons of clothes for work… just be aware that you will be paying 100% of the cost and not 80%!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but your bank account may thank me!