TV presenter refused tax relief for her clothes and hairdos
The Tribunal recently refused a claim for tax relief in respect of the cost of clothing and hairstyling incurred by Sian Williams, a TV presenter employed by the BBC.
The claim for £4,531 of expenses was made under s336 ITEPA 2003 and related to Ms Williams’ 2004/05 tax return. She claimed that the items should be tax deductible because it was part of her job to look good on screen. There was however no clearly implied term in her contract that she had to acquire specific clothing or do anything special to her hair. In this respect the Tribunal did not accept that she was in a similar position to actors. Nor did the Tribunal accept that it was relevant to consider the extent to which other TV presenters had successfully claimed tax relief in respect of similar expenditure.
The Tribunal referred to the similar cases of Hillyer v Leeke and Mallalieu v Drummond. Although both of these concerned claims made by self employed taxpayers they were considered to set out ‘a clear principle applicable to all taxpayers’. In both of those cases the taxpayers failed to secure tax relief for their expenditure even though they were self employed. As Ms Williams was an employee she had the added hurdle of proving that her costs were incurred not just ‘wholly and exclusively’ but also ‘necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment.’
Ms Williams’ claim was refused by the Tribunal.