Stripping away what a dancer can and can’t claim

When in dispute with HMRC case law can be helpful.

Daniels v HMRC is one such case where HMRC took on an exotic dancer.



Ms Daniels, the dancer in question, had been claiming all the expense incurred when travelling from her home to Stringfellows and back again.

Travelling costs are only allowed between a business base and another place where work is carried out.

The court looked back to Samad Samadian v Revenue & Customs.

In the Samadian case the court had ruled that, although Dr. Samadian had a business base at home, there was a ‘mixed object’ in travelling between home and the private hospitals he worked at.

The ruling shored up the fact that travel from between home and places of business are almost always non-deductible.

For Ms Daniels, this meant the travel expenses had to be disallowed.


Everyday clothing cannot be claimed, because of the duality of purpose.

This was established in case law in Mallalieu v Drummond HMRC.

In this case, although Ms Mallalieu only intended to use the clothes for professional reasons, the clothes were also used for ‘warmth and deceny’, and so couldn’t be claimed.

Ms Daniels, however, was allowed to keep her clothing claim.

This is because lingerie and revealing outfits were not suitable to be worn outside the club.

Her costumes for the fancy dress nights were allowed, as were her ten inch high heels which were made to aid in her hanging upside down on the pole.


Ms Daniels had bought make-up and perfume for her performances as they involve, ‘getting naked in front of drunken men’, and she didn’t want make-up and perfume in her personal life.

HMRC argues that this shouldn’t be an allowable expense.

The tribunal disagreed, saying that the fact most women wear make-up and perfume isn’t relevant.

The court stated:

‘The fact that Ms Daniels could have worn make-up and perfume outside her work is not the correct test. Her evidence was …. that she bought those items solely for her performances. We consider …. the expenditure wholly and exclusively for the purposes of her performances and that it was therefore deductible’.


Md Daniels has expenses totaling over £8,000, however, she only had receipts for less than 10% of the amount claimed because a lot of what she bought was from market stalls.

HMRC argued the rest of the amount should be disallowed.

The judge disagreed, saying that although she should have kept better records, he had no reason to believe she hadn’t incurred the costs, so they were allowable.