At TWD we regularly update our tax advice section with the replies to questions submitted by both clients and non-clients.
We have recently had 2 questions submitted by someone in the entertainment industry, both of which are becoming more and more frequent.
- “Can I claim back my gym membership”; and
- “Is cosmetic surgery a business expense?”
Whilst these questions have been added to our FAQ page, given the frequency with which they are asked I thought they would benefit from a blog posting.
Can I claim back my gym membership?
If you are self employed you can claim for any expense as long as it is “wholly and exclusively” for business.
However, gym expenses are generally regarded as maintaining or restoring good health and as such are not allowable expenses. HMRC will try and treat gym expenses in the same manner as they do medical expenses.
Unfortunately this view is backed up by case law. A self-employed writer suffered an illness that prevented him from working. Claiming his illness was a direct result of working in unfavourable conditions he made a claim for his medical bills on the basis they were connected with his professional work. His claim was rejected by HMRC and on appeal the judge held that it was impossible to argue that medical bills represent expenses incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of his business as there was undeniably a personal element to his treatment.
“Can I claim for Cosmetic Surgery?”
Strangely different considerations may apply where an individual pays for cosmetic surgery. Where a person in the public eye pays for cosmetic surgery then HMRC will examine the reasons for surgery.
If the surgery is for vanity reasons no deduction will be due. Only in exceptional circumstances will an operation to change personal appearance by reversing or masking the advancing of the years not have a private purpose.
As you can see tax law does not always make sense. Always seek professional advice when dealing with your tax affairs as you can see nothing is straightforward!
If you have any questions please feel free to email us via our free online tax advice form.Trackback URL: http://twdaccounts.co.uk/blog/twd-question-time-expenses-explained-262.html/trackback