Are Stage Clothes Tax-Deductible?

Are stage clothes tax-deductible? Well, that seems to be a moot point. Apparently they are only tax-deductible if they are exclusively for use onstage. I suppose that means that if you have bought clothes specifically to wear on stage and can’t/don’t wear them elsewhere then they are an allowable expense. An old accountant of mine told me that the test case for this was a lady barrister who claimed the black tights she wore in court. Apparently the tax man thought otherwise, arguing that she could have worn them at any time.

I did hear a story of a bass player who approached HMRC for some help in filling in his tax return. He had claimed for a dinner suit, and the tax man said it wasn’t allowable because he could have worn it at other times. The muso pointed out that he had reached his mid-40s without ever having been invited to a black-tie function as a guest nor was he ever likely to be invited to one. The tax man was very reasonable, shrugged his shoulders, and let it go.