Taxman tackled over Sian’s BBC outfits

Press Association
Wednesday 17 March 2010 19:03
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BBC Breakfast host Sian Williams has been at the centre of a case about tax deductions on what she needs to spend to keep up her appearance for work.

A tax tribunal heard an argument that she should be permitted to claim hairstyling, clothing and cleaning costs as expenses to keep up her appearance on screen.

But the tribunal rejected the claim for £4,500 that such things should be tax deductible.

Williams made the claim in her tax return for the financial year 2004/5, which included £3,231 for clothing in the studio, £975 for hairstyling and £325 for laundry of work outfits.

In the claim to the tribunal, it was argued it was an implied term that she must not wear the same clothes more than twice or three times a month.

The tribunal's decision, published this week, included a claim that "she would be prepared to read the news without clothes and only wears the clothes because her employer requires it".

Williams said after the case that the statements had been neither made nor endorsed by her. “The accountant, who was not being paid to fight this case, has made it clear that I was not involved in any way."

The BBC said it would not comment on the case.

And a spokesman for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it could not comment on individual cases because of taxpayer confidentiality.

However, he said only expenses "wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred" in carrying out a particular business were allowable as expenses under HMRC guidelines.

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