Q. I act as a DJ for parties and other events. For themed parties (e.g. Halloween, 1970s) I wear clothes to suit the occasion. Can I claim the cost of those clothes as an expense in my self-employed accounts?
A. The Taxman will not allow a deduction for the cost of ordinary clothes which are required 'for warmth and decency'. However, where the item is needed for safety purposes, like a hard-hat on a building site, the cost is allowable. The same applies for the cost of a costume worn to identify the person in a role, such as a barrister's legal wig and gown.
If your clothes amount to a costume for entertaining, then the cost is allowable. If you also wear those clothes for warmth and decency then the cost is not allowable. Try asking yourself: 'would I wear this when I am not working as a DJ'. If the answer is 'yes', the cost is not allowable.