If you need special clothes to do your job you may think the cost of these is an allowable business expense.  There are only a few items of clothing which are allowed as a tax deductible expense.

Protective Clothing

Some types of work require you to have a helmet, steel toe-capped boots, protective trousers or a high-viz jacket.  These items are generally zero-rated for VAT and are an allowable business expense.


If you and your staff have a specific uniform to wear at work this is an allowable business expense if you provide the uniform for your staff and retain ownership of it.  For example nurses will be provided with a uniform, as will paramedics.

Clothing with Company Logo

If you provide items such as polo shirts, hoodies or coats to staff which have your company logo on these are an allowable business expense because again they advertise the company.  

Other Clothing

You may need a coat for your job, or some stronger shoes or boots or perhaps you are required to wear a suit.  None of these items are allowed as a business expense and nor can VAT be deducted from them.  They are items which are not specific to your work, are not protective and can be worn at any time outside of work (whether you choose to or not).

Taxable Benefit

Any clothing you provide to your staff and any cleaning or repair bills which are incurred are reportable on a P11D every year and may be subject to tax and NI.  This includes protective clothing as well as a uniform.

HMRC website gives further details on providing clothing

Clothing if you are a Sole Trader

The same rules apply as set out above.  Clothing which is not classed as protective, is not a uniform and is without a company logo is not a business expense.

HMRC website gives information on expenses you can and cannot claim.