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Exotic dancer tax deductions

We've updated this guide on 15th February 2021

As a self-employed exotic dancer, the tax deductions that you can claim may vary. In 2019, there was a case that scrutinised the expenses claimed by a woman, Gemma Daniels, who worked as an exotic dancer. It was called Daniels vs. HMRC

How do expenses work?

When you’re self-employed, you are in charge of declaring your income to HMRC and paying your own taxes. You do this via a tax return. 

Here are some key dates in the year to be aware of:

  • 6th April – 5th April – the tax year
  • 5th October – register for Self Assessment deadline
  • 31st January – the deadline to pay your tax return
  • 31st July – Payment on Account deadline

When it comes to your expenses, you should be as organised as you can. You should keep track of all of your income and business expenses monthly, per tax year. This is because you’re allowed to deduct your business expenses from your overall income. This means that you only pay tax on your profits, not your overall earnings. 

Daniels vs. HMRC

During the Daniels vs. HMRC case, Gemma Daniels argued that her expenses were wholly and exclusively for business purposes. 

These included:

  • Travel to work
  • Her clothes (long, transparent dresses, sequins, nurse outfits etc.)
  • Shoes (6-10 inch heels)
  • Makeup
  • Perfume
  • Hairdressing

HMRC found that whilst her travel to work could not be claimed back, all other expenses were valid because she did not use any of the items outside her exotic dancing job.

What are some exotic dancer tax deductions?

As you can see with the above case, as long as your expenses are exclusively and wholly made for your business, you can claim them back on your tax return. Here are some more examples of what you can expense:

  • Marketing costs
  • The cost of setting up your website
  • Dance clothing
  • Mileage (on business travel – not including your commute)
  • Your accounting costs
  • Cosmetic surgery (strictly on a case-by-case basis)
  • Training space

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