Can you claim for your appearance as an author?

Published by Jonathan Ford on

Appearance costs for authors

Claiming for expenses can help to bring your tax bill down so it’s worth looking at what you can claim… for your looks.

Author Bio Photo

After you’ve spent hours carefully crafting your bio you’ll want a photo too.  The cost of getting this done by a professional photographer would be tax deductible and, if you also got your hair and makeup done for the photoshoot, then that would be acceptable too.  That’s not to say you can now claim all your hair and makeup costs just in case a fan spots you.  But, if you limit the cost directly to those incurred for the photoshoot then you should be fine.


There are three reasons you can claim for clothing:

Costume – if you’re a writer in a particular genre then it might be you buy some clothing as a prop for social media or other marketing campaigns.  For example, you write books about vampires and have a vampire outfit you make use of for events and Instagram.  This won’t cover everyday clothing though. Don’t be tempted to think “I write books about successful well dressed people” and buy a wardrobe full of clothing so you can look like them. 

We’d also suggest hiring clothing you wouldn’t normally wear for your photoshoot would be fine too.

Advertising – branded clothing, such as t-shirts and sweatshirts, can be claimed.  You might feel that wearing a t-shirt advertising your books is a bit cheesy but you’ll always impress any accountant in the room with your tax motivated fashion choice.

Protection – claiming for hard hats, hi viz, wet weather clothes is a valid reason to get a tax deduction.  We’re not sure how many authors would be able to take advantage of this one. Let us know if you can think of a good example.

Things we wouldn’t expect to claim for an author

Cosmetic surgery

Therapy or holistic treatments

General appearance and wardrobe costs

Fitness costs – like gym and massage

If you’ve any questions then just get in touch and we’ll try to help.

Categories: Tax