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Case R55

84 ATC 411

Judges:
KP Brady Ch

JE Stewart M
DJ Trowse M

Court:
No. 2 Board of Review

Judgment date: 21 June 1984.


K.P. Brady (Chairman), J.E. Stewart and D.J. Trowse (Members): The questions for decision in this case are as follows:

(a) Whether an amount of $118 expended in connection with the purchase of clothing, comprising a vest (cost $15), shirts or blouses (cost $87) and a jumper (cost $16), during the year of income ended 30 June 1982, is an allowable deduction under sec. 51(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
(b) Whether an amount of $20 expended in connection with the laundering and dry cleaning of that clothing in that year is an allowable deduction under the same subsection of the said Act.

2. In her return of income in respect of the year of income ended 30 June 1982, the taxpayer, a female bank officer working with the State Bank of..., claimed the above amount of $118, and an amount of $120, that included the above amount of $20, as deductions from assessable income. The Commissioner disallowed both amounts in arriving at the taxpayer's taxable income for the 1982 year, whereupon the taxpayer lodged a valid objection against the assessment based upon that income.

3. The Commissioner partly allowed the taxpayer's objection by allowing an amount of $50 for laundry and dry cleaning expenses, and subsequently issued a notice of amended assessment that gave effect to that decision. However, the taxpayer, being dissatisfied with the Commissioner's decision on the objection, requested that the decision be referred to a Board of Review for review.

4. At the hearing of the reference by the Board, the Commissioner's representative conceded that a further amount of $50 in respect of laundry and dry cleaning expenses, referable to clothing worn by the taxpayer in the period 1 July 1981 to 21 May 1982, was allowable as a deduction. In the circumstances, therefore, the amended assessment abovementioned, being the reduced assessment for sec. 191 purposes to be dealt with on the reference, will need to be further amended in due course (whatever the Board's decision on the other matters in issue might be) to allow that further amount of $50 as a deduction.

5. At the hearing of the reference, the taxpayer gave evidence under oath. She was represented by counsel. Several witnesses were called by the taxpayer to give evidence in support of her claims. The Commissioner was represented by one of his officers.

6. It appears that the taxpayer commenced work as a bank employee some 11 years ago and that, during that time, she was required to wear certain articles of clothing when on duty which, for convenience, we shall refer to as a ``uniform'', although it is necessary to point out that the Commissioner did not concede that those articles, when worn either singly or as an ensemble, constituted a uniform as such. The requirement to wear a uniform, stated to be a condition of the taxpayer's employment with the bank, was said to have applied to the year in issue, in relation to the wearing of an old style uniform, until it was phased out in May 1982, and also to the wearing of a new uniform that was introduced for use by the female staff in that month. Having regard to the evidence, it appears to be common ground that prospective appointees to the bank have been required since about May 1982 to indicate their willingness to wear the new uniform (when on duty) before their appointment as an employee would be confirmed by the bank. However, having regard to the many years during which the taxpayer had served as an employee before 1982, it is apparent that the bank did not have that form of inducement available to it to entice the taxpayer


84 ATC 413

to wear the new uniform whatever the position might have been concerning the wearing of earlier and outmoded uniforms. Nevertheless, we feel bound to accept the taxpayer's uncontroverted evidence that she did in fact wear the new uniform when on duty and her further evidence, together with that of the bank's Assistant General Manager - Staffing, that she wore it to comply with a condition of her employment. However, it is unfortunate, in our opinion, that the evidence does not indicate what action was available to the bank to ensure that its apparent requirement and instructions concerning the wearing of a uniform by its female staff were obeyed, particularly the wearing of the new uniform by its female staff, including the taxpayer, who were in its employ before 1982. It is mentioned in passing that male members of the staff have not been required to wear a uniform at any time.

7. We were given to understand that it has been bank policy for some years to insist that its female employees wear distinctive clothing that is readily identifiable and recognisable as the bank's uniform. It was said that this requirement has been an integral part of the bank's ongoing advertising strategy and that, in that respect, and because of the ever-increasing competitive market in which it operates, customer service and identification of the bank and its employees are matters of importance that require close attention in pursuing the bank's goal of profit making. We were given to understand that the particular uniform under consideration, with its special tonings of colour, has facilitated that identification process. Because it is worn by some 160 employees in some 37 points of representation throughout the State, it has enabled the bank and its operations to be recognised and appreciated, it seems, on the widest possible basis.

8. It seems that, in or about 1981, the bank decided that a change of uniform was desirable for the purposes, it was said, of providing, inter alia, its female employees with a range of garments that would cater for greater comfort and minor individual taste variations in the mode of dress to be worn. It appears that, while remaining within the confines of general uniform appearance, the clothing would be more flexible and suitable for wide variations in temperature in the bank's offices which, for the most part, were old and without air-conditioning, and in the State's climatic conditions generally, that vary greatly between seasons and, at most times during the year, between the various geographical points at which the representation outlets are located. It seems that, with those purposes in mind, a committee was set up, comprising some eight female staff members, to examine various alternatives and to forward recommendations to the bank's senior management in respect of a new style and colour of uniform that would satisfy the above purposes and replace the uniform then in use. In its selection of items of clothing that would go to the make-up of the uniform, however, the committee was required to select a distinctive colour, or tonings within a colour range, that would not be available for use by other organisations or by the public generally. The committee was also required to ensure that, despite continuous wear in a world of constantly changing fashions, the style of garment chosen and the fabric itself would endure for a period of some five years.

9. The outcome of the committee recommendations and related decisions of management concerning the acquisition and wearing of the new uniform may be summarised as follows:

- A one-piece garment in the nature of a dress was considered but not chosen because it lacked sufficient flexibility to satisfy the requirements concerned with personal choice and comfort, and durability of style and fabric.
- The uniform chosen comprised three non-optional items of clothing that include a skirt, a blouse with either short or long sleeves to be selected and worn at the option of the employee, and a jumper.
- Each particular item of clothing, e.g. the skirt, must be in the same corporate colour; a similar requirement exists in relation to each other item, e.g. the blouse, although, as between the several items that go to the make-up of the uniform, e.g. the skirt, blouse and jumper, there are tonings of colour that blend overall with the corporate colour.
- We understand that the bank has supplied, at its own expense, one skirt and one jumper to each employee (including the taxpayer), and that it is obliged to replace those items at its expense at the end of each two year period.


84 ATC 414

- The skirt must be worn in conjunction with the blouse when on duty. The blouse must be purchased and replaced by the employee at her expense; it may be worn as an open neck garment or, if it is buttoned at the neck, with a tie; the tie, purchased at the employee's expense, must be in an approved corporate toning.
- The wearing of the jumper of the approved colour is optional at the discretion of the employee having regard to her concept of comfort in the climatic and office conditions to be found where her work is being performed.
- Apart from the tie, other optional items of clothing that may be acquired and replaced at the employee's expense include a vest, cardigan and blazer; again, these items of clothing must be of the approved corporate colour. They may be worn at the discretion of the employee in conjunction with each other, or as alternatives to each other, and the jumper, providing that they are worn as supplements to the skirt and blouse.
- The items of clothing, subject to variations described, must be worn by all female employees when on duty and wherever located within the State; also, they must be worn whether the employee works in view of the public or in specialised areas where the public does not gain access.
- An employee may wear (and the taxpayer on occasions did so) the uniform in travelling to and from work but not at other times when not on duty; in this respect it is noteworthy that the taxpayer's evidence was that she disliked the uniform and that she wore it in the circumstances described because she was bound to wear it when on duty.
- An employee may purchase (and the taxpayer did in fact do so) extra items of the approved clothing, subject to complying with the procedures laid down by the bank for that purpose.
- A name tag must be worn at all times by each employee when on duty; the tag is a further means of identification and carries the bank's logo as well as the name of the employee.
- Each employee on ceasing employment with the bank must return to it any skirt or jumper that was acquired by the bank for the employee's use. However, items of clothing, including a skirt or jumper, purchased by an employee might be retained for future private use.

10. We were given to understand that the female employees, in response to a questionnaire issued to them, indicated that the new uniform to be introduced by the bank should provide them with sufficient warmth to meet the variations in climatic and working conditions encountered and that, when compared with the old uniform, it should be more ladylike in appearance. It seems that the employees indicated that, providing those conditions were satisfied, they would be prepared to acquire the optional extras at their own expense.

11. Having regard to the various submissions put to the Board concerning the question of whether the clothing under consideration should be regarded as a uniform, it is desirable to set out in greater detail (although, again, in summary form) certain features associated with it and its procurement by the bank's employees, which has enabled the bank to be satisfied as to the continuing distinctiveness and durability of the various items of clothing.

Skirt: The employees have the choice of an ``A'' line, inverted pleat style, or box pleat skirt which is manufactured (in a fabric that combines polyester and wool) in the selected corporate colour exclusively for the bank in the State where the taxpayer resides. The particular apparel is made exclusively by a particular manufacturer which does not make it available for sale in the retail trade or outside the career apparel range. A system of customer coding used by the manufacturer, in conjunction with the bank, identifies the employee customer with the fabric and colour. The skirt can only be re-ordered with that customer code with notification from the bank, and, on delivery, the code requires identification of the person obtaining the skirt. However, it does seem possible that the skirt (the precise colour of which is not discussed in the interests of preserving anonymity) might be manufactured in the career apparel range for use in a State other than where the taxpayer resides.

Blouse: The blouse is manufactured exclusively for the bank in a colour that blends with the


84 ATC 415

bank's own colour scheme and in a design that was decided upon by the bank. The manufacturer of the garment does not sell it through retail outlets. Supplies of the garments are held by the manufacturer and purchased by the bank on order. The employees purchase the garments direct from the bank as required, and for that purpose each fills out an order form indicating the size, quantity desired, and whether long or short sleeves are desired. The bank must order a minimum batch of 144 garments before the manufacturer is prepared to set up the machines for the special run required for their production.

Jumper, vest, cardigan: The bank's particular colour for these garments is ensured by arranging for the manufacturer to specially dye the wool to be used in their manufacture. The manufacturer dyes in lots of 100 kilograms and holds the wool in stock to be used as required. The bank holds a wardrobe of the manufactured garments in different sizes from which it distributes free jumpers as required, or sells them, together with the vests and cardigans, to the employees on demand. These garments are of a standard design and depend for their uniqueness upon the special colour of the wool which is not available elsewhere.

Blazer: It appears that the only blazer in existence was purchased in special circumstances direct from the manufacturer by an employee. However, it seems that it was manufactured from the same fabric and presumably in the same colour as, or a matching colour to, that used in the manufacture of the skirt. It seems also that an employee may order the garment direct from the manufacturer and pay for it herself.

12. Broadly speaking, the submissions made in support of allowing the taxpayer's claims under sec. 51(1) of the Act (by inference, under the first limb of that subsection) were that the outgoings in issue were relevant and incidental to her income producing activities and were not of a capital, private or domestic nature. In support of that general proposition, it was submitted that the taxpayer was required, as a condition of her employment, to wear distinctive clothing that was a uniform in ordinary parlance, with the consequence that the expenses incurred in connection with uniform replacement, laundry and dry cleaning, were essentially of a business character, which did not fall to be excluded as deductions on the basis that they were outgoings of a capital, private or domestic nature. Submissions in support of the proposition that the clothing was a uniform included a detailed analysis of the exclusive nature of the fabric, style and colour of the various items of clothing worn, and of the reasons why the bank required the wearing of that distinctive and identifiable clothing by its female employees. In our understanding, those submissions gave rise to two further propositions. First, it appeared to be said, the essential character of the taxpayer's clothing as a uniform, and therefore the character of the outgoings in issue as expenses of a business nature, did not change simply because separate parts of the clothing could be suitable for use outside banking hours. Secondly, by wearing the bank's uniform, the taxpayer identified herself as a member of a specific class of business person and not as an individual member of the general public, with the consequence that the expenditure in issue took on the flavour of a business outgoing rather than an outgoing of a private nature. It was therefore deductible, the submission continued, as business expenditure because it related to the taxpayer's income producing activities and was not that kind of expenditure characterised as private or domestic in nature that would usually be incurred by the taxpayer when acting independently in her capacity as an individual member of the general public.

13. The principal submissions put by the Commissioner's representative in support of the assessment, as we would understand them, may conveniently be summarised as follows:

- The wearing of a name plate with the bank's logo embossed thereon does not of itself convert clothing of a conventional kind into something special or different or into a uniform as such.
- The clothing worn by the taxpayer when on duty was not special or different or a uniform in ordinary parlance because, apart, perhaps, from colour, each individual item of clothing lacked exclusivity in that garments of the same design or material could (it seems as a remote possibility) be purchased in States other than where the taxpayer resides; in any event, the taxpayer could wear individual garments when not on duty and, upon retirement as an employee of the bank (in the uncertain future), she could wear any or all of the garments (including a


84 ATC 416

skirt and jumper) that might be purchased by her as an employee.

- Even if the clothing could be said to constitute a uniform, there is no provision in the income tax law under which the cost of a uniform, as such, is an allowable deduction even though the obtaining and wearing of a uniform is a condition of employment.
- Whilst the purchase and cleaning of the clothing might have been a necessary prerequisite to the derivation of the taxpayer's income and the wearing of the clothing by the taxpayer at all times when on duty an established fact, the expenditure in issue still did not qualify as a deduction under the first limb of sec. 51(1) because it was not incurred directly in, or in any incidental or relevant way to, the performance of the income producing acts and operations required of the taxpayer as an employee of the bank.
- The incurring of expenditure as a necessary prerequisite to the end purpose of making the derivation of income possible does not qualify the outgoing to be an allowable deduction.
- In any event, the clothing in question is essentially private in character (and therefore the expenditure in issue must be similarly characterised and precluded as a deduction by the excluding provisions of sec. 51(1)) because it is essentially conventional or normal clothing that is not peculiar to the taxpayer's occupation in the sense that its nature or physical condition makes it inherently unsuitable for private use.

14. It appeared to be common ground that the clothing in question was of a conventional nature in that it complied with the norms of our society which require the wearing of clothing which, from an individual viewpoint, must also provide for warmth and comfort as well as for conformity with changes in fashion trends. It also appeared to be common ground that it was a condition of the taxpayer's employment that she wear the clothes in question when on duty. We would, with respect, agree that those concessions should have been made in the light of the evidence before us.

15. We do not consider, however, that expenditure on conventional clothing is denied deductibility because of that fact alone if, on a proper analysis of the relevant facts, it emerges that the clothing possesses distinctive and unique features that remove it from the type of wearing apparel that is capable of unfettered use by the public at large. The evidence, referred to in some detail earlier, supports the proposition, in our opinion, that the clothing in question satisfies those requirements exactly. The evidence indicates clearly, in our view, that the bank and its employees and, it seems, the general public (including bank customers), accept the clothing as possessing that level of uniqueness and distinctiveness so that (it seems reasonable to assume), in their view, it falls within the dictionary meaning of the word ``uniform''. We would also add that, in our opinion, that conclusion gains support by having regard to the durability of the clothing in matters pertaining to wear and tear, the maintaining of the same style and fashion for a period of some five years, and the elaborateness of the procedures that were required to be observed by the various manufacturers, the bank, and its employees, in the manufacture and supply of the garments involved. In this connection it is mentioned that the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes ``uniform'', in relation to clothing, as meaning ``... of the same pattern, colour, and material amongst a number or body of persons...''. We have no basis upon which we might disagree with what appears as a general acceptance of the clothing as a uniform. In any event, we are satisfied that, on the facts as described earlier, the clothing in question is a uniform within the ordinary meaning of that word.

16. However, in response to submissions put on behalf of the Commissioner, we would add that, in our opinion, conventional clothing of a particular colour or style does not necessarily, because of those factors alone, assume the character of a uniform. Likewise, ordinary clothing is not converted into a uniform by the simple process of asserting that it fills that role or by the wearing of a name plate, etc. attached to clothing. On the other hand, in our opinion, a uniform does not lose its essential character simply because individual items comprised within it, e.g. the taxpayer's skirt, blouse or jumper, a policeman's trousers or shirt, a soldier's shirt or socks, are worn with non-uniform garments when not on duty, or when, in the instant case, the taxpayer ceases to be an employee. Further, it seems to us, the taxpayer's uniform does not lose its essential character because of the possibility that a part of


84 ATC 417

it, e.g. the skirt, in so far as its fabric and style are concerned, might be worn as part of a different uniform for some other organisation in another State. In relation to this matter, we would add two further points. First, we are of the opinion that the fact that the clothing in issue, like the clothing to be found in most other uniforms that we are aware of, provides comfort and warmth needed by the taxpayer, as a human being, is not in itself sufficient to deny it the status of a uniform. Secondly, we do not consider that the occasional wearing of the uniform to and from work deprives it of that status.

17. In our consideration of the matters in issue, we were not greatly assisted by the many decisions of the Boards of Review that have concerned occupational clothing in materially different fact situations, or the application of such tests as the ``abnormal expenditure'' test (see Case A45
69 ATC 270), the ``necessary and peculiar test'' (see Case H61,
8 T.B.R.D. 287; Case G81,
75 ATC 572; Case H2,
76 ATC 7), or the ``abnormal wear and tear'' test (see Case T47,
18 T.B.R.D. 242; Case G81,
75 ATC 572; Case H33,
76 ATC 285; Case M28,
80 ATC 187). In the present case there was no evidence of abnormal expenditure having been incurred and, whilst it was ``necessary'' for the taxpayer in the instant case to wear what was obviously, in our opinion, a ``company'' uniform (see Case Q24,
83 ATC 113), nevertheless it was not ``peculiar'' in the sense that it was, by its nature or physical condition, inherently unsuitable for private use. (See also decisions concerning claims for the cost of cleaning uniforms worn by an air hostess (Case N34,
81 ATC 178) and a doctor's secretary (Case P117,
82 ATC 591).) Even though the taxpayer has been required to wear several uniforms as a bank employee, there was no evidence to indicate that any of the uniforms, including the new one acquired in May 1982 (which might well be replaced after some five years), were subject to what might be described as abnormal wear and tear. On the contrary, both the bank and its female employees appear to have benefited in different ways from the arrangements entered into. It would seem that the bank was assisted in its trading operations through its public image that was enhanced by the wearing of a uniform which was financed in part by the voluntary actions of its employees. It also seems possible that the bank was assisted administratively in matters concerning security by the easier identification of its employees that the uniform provided, as well as in the avoidance of a possible need to curb any excesses in fashion that might otherwise occur. The possible benefits to the employees would appear to include a saving in the expenses otherwise to be incurred in purchasing clothing suitable for business purposes in an area of constantly changing fashions and in the time and effort required to be expended in making those purchases. Consequently, the taxpayer's claims would not appear to gain support for allowance under tests adverted to, as we would understand them.

18. In so far as we are aware, no Australian Court has been called upon to consider the application of sec. 51(1) in circumstances similar to those to be found in the instant case. However, as has been pointed out by the Courts on many occasions, the deductibility of the taxpayer's claims, as an employee, may only be determined by having regard to the meaning of the words in the first limb of sec. 51(1), which read:

``All losses and outgoings to the extent to which they are incurred in gaining or producing the assessable income...''

and the exclusory words ``losses or outgoings of capital, or of a capital, private or domestic nature'' which are to be found in the latter part of the subsection.

19. The phrase ``in gaining or producing the assessable income'' has been subject to extensive judicial examination over the years and, in consequence, there have emerged observations which we consider to be critical for present purposes. It has been said that losses and outgoings, to fall within the meaning of the phrase, must be ``actually incurred in the course of gaining or producing the assessable income'' (per Latham C.J. in
Amalgamated Zinc (de Bavay's) Ltd. v. F.C. of T. (1935) 3 A.T.D. 288 at p. 293; (1935) 54 C.L.R. at p. 303). In the same case, it was also said that the phrase ``looks rather to the scope of the operations or activities and the relevance thereto of the expenditure than to purpose in itself'' (per Dixon J. (as he then was) at A.T.D. p. 298; C.L.R. p. 309). In
Ronpibon Tin N.L. v. F.C. of T. (1949) 8 A.T.D. 431; (1949) 78 C.L.R. 47, it was said that an outgoing, to fall within the meaning of the phrase, must be ``incidental and relevant'' to the end purpose of producing assessable income and that -


84 ATC 418

``In brief substance, to come within the initial part of the subsection it is both sufficient and necessary that the occasion of the loss or outgoing should be found in whatever is productive of the assessable income...''

In
Charles Moore & Co. (W.A.) Pty. Ltd. v. F.C. of T. (1956) 11 A.T.D. 147; (1956) 95 C.L.R. 344, it was said that it was the nature or character of an outgoing that determines whether it is ``incidental or relevant'' in the above sense.

20. Having regard to the circumstances of the present case, we consider that the expenses incurred by the taxpayer were essentially of a business kind in that they arose out of the necessity stemming from her condition of employment to wear a particular uniform when on duty. Whilst the clothing she was required to wear when on duty no doubt satisfied her private needs as a human being in our society, its essential character, and consequently that of the expenditure incurred in connection with it, was directly related to the need to provide the occupational character of clothing that was clearly appropriate to, or adapted to, or truly incidental to, her income producing activities. In the circumstances, we consider that the expenditure falls within ``the scope of the operations or activities'' by which the taxpayer derived her income and that it was relevant thereto, and that it was therefore ``actually incurred in the course of gaining or producing the assessable income'' for the purposes of the first limb of sec. 51(1).

21. We consider that the facts in the present case are distinguishable from those to be found in
Lunney v. F.C. of T.; Hayley v. F.C. of T. (1958) 11 A.T.D. 404; (1958) 100 C.L.R. 478, and in
Lodge v. F.C. of T. 72 ATC 4174, and that therefore the principles of law that emerge from those cases do not operate against the allowance of the taxpayer's claims. It suffices for present purposes to point out that the expenses in issue in the Lunney and Hayley cases were disallowed as a deduction basically because they concerned activities before and after work that enabled the taxpayers to travel between home and work and work and home, and not with the activities during working hours that gave rise to assessable income. In the case of Miss Lodge, the expenses in issue were disallowed as a deduction because they concerned, from the viewpoint of Miss Lodge, the non-income producing activities of minding her child so as to enable her, while the child was being minded, to carry out her income producing activities as a law costs clerk. As indicated earlier, the uniform in the present case, that gave rise to the expenditure in issue, was worn by the taxpayer when on duty so as to become part and parcel of the activities by which she derived her income. There was, therefore, in our opinion, a ``perceived connection'' (per Menzies J. at p. 4187 in
F.C. of T. v. Hatchett 71 ATC 4184) between the expenses incurred in relation to the taxpayer's uniform and her assessable income and a nexus between the outgoings and income that was truly ``incidental and relevant'' so as to satisfy the requirements of the first limb of sec. 51(1).

22. We do not think that the decision of the House of Lords in
Mallalieu v. Drummond (Inspector of Taxes) (1983) 2 All E.R. 1095, has established a principle of law that is in conflict with our conclusions in the circumstances of the case before us, putting to one side the obvious differences between the provisions of sec. 130 of the United Kingdom Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970 and sec. 51(1) of the Assessment Act. For present purposes it need only be mentioned that the expenditure by Miss Mallalieu, a self-employed female barrister, on the maintenance of clothing which conformed to the dress requirements of her profession, was held, inter alia, to be made not only for professional purposes but also for personal purposes, namely so that she could be warmly and decently clothed. Therefore, as the expenditure was not ``wholly and exclusively'' expended for the purposes of the taxpayer's profession within sec. 130(a) of the U.K. Act, it was held that the taxpayer was not entitled to the deduction claimed.

23. Whilst it seems possible that the principles emerging from Mallalieu may well have application to the operation of sec. 51(1) where employee claims concern expenses other than those associated with the renewal and maintenance of a uniform, or where similar claims are made by self-employed persons, it seems that the following observations made by Lord Brightman, who delivered the principal judgment for the majority of the House of Lords, make it clear that they were concerned not to give a decision that would affect the ``uniform'' type of case and that it is possible (as we suggest it is for the purposes of


84 ATC 419

determining the issues before us) to have expenditure which exclusively serves business purposes and, at the same time, provides a private advantage. At the bottom of p. 1103 (1983) 2 All E.R., Lord Brightman says:

``I do not think that the decision which I urge upon your Lordships should raise any problems in the `uniform' type of case that was so much discussed in argument.''

At the top of p. 1100, he further says:

``The object of the taxpayer in making the expenditure must be distinguished from the effect of the expenditure. An expenditure may be made exclusively to serve the purposes of the business, but it may have a private advantage. The existence of that private advantage does not necessarily preclude the exclusivity of the business purposes.''

Therefore, when Lord Brightman indicates at p. 1104 his agreement with the passages cited from the judgment of Goulding J. in
Hillyer v. Leeke (Inspector of Taxes) (1976) S.T.C. 490; (1976) 51 T.C. 90, it is implicit in that agreement, in our opinion, that he regarded the two working suits of Mr. Hillyer, an employee computer engineer, not as a uniform and therefore not possessed ``of a special character dictated by the occupation as a matter of physical necessity'' but as ``ordinary civilian clothing'' that did not give rise to a deduction although the clothing was ``of a standard required for the occupation''.

24. Finally, we would add that, in our opinion, the expenses associated with the purchase of the taxpayer's vest, blouses and jumper were not outgoings of capital because they were in substance, as we understand the evidence, replacements of an obsolete uniform. The Commissioner's representative did not make submissions in that matter. Also, on the basis that the taxpayer's clothing properly qualifies as a uniform, we would take the view that the expenses of laundering and dry cleaning it should be allowed. Furthermore, having regard to our conclusion that the essential character of all the expenses in issue was of a business kind, we consider that they were not therefore, wholly or in part, of a private or domestic nature.

25. For the above reasons, we would allow the taxpayer's claims and would direct that the assessment in issue be amended to give effect to that decision.

Claims allowed

 



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