Laundry allowance claims from Ratings and Other Ranks in the Ministry of Defence

A new annual flat rate expense allowance for laundering uniforms has been agreed between HM Revenue & Customs and Ministry of Defence.

The following annual Flat Rate Expense Allowance (FREA) is due for laundering your uniform:

  • Royal Navy £80
  • Army £100
  • Royal Marines £100
  • Royal Air Force £100

If you claim the FREA

The FREA will be backdated from 6 April 2008. You will get the full expense allowance due for each year of service. It will not be reduced if your service started or ended part-way through a year.

The FREA will be given by amending your tax code for the 2013 to 2014 tax year. In most cases the revised tax code will be used against March 2014 pay. This will usually mean you will pay less tax in the month the revised tax code is used. If you are not currently in employment but you complete a Self Assessment tax return we will add this allowance to your Self Assessment statement of account.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) pay compensation where there is a delay in making a repayment. This is called a repayment supplement (RPS). This will also be included in the backdated tax code adjustment.

The average annual interest rate over the period is 0.5%.


Example 1

Andrew joins the Royal Navy as a rating in September 2009 and remains in service until March 2012. He will get the laundry FREA for 3 years (2009 to 2010, 2010 to 2011 and 2011 to 2012). It will not be reduced even though his service started and ended part-way through a year. He is a basic rate taxpayer throughout.

2009 to 2010 £80 @ 20% = £16 + Repayment supplement = 16.32

2010 to 2011 £80 @ 20% = £16 + Repayment supplement = 16.24

2011 to 2012 £80 @ 20% = £16 + Repayment supplement = 16.16

Total Repayment due £48.72

Example 2

Sara joins the RAF Other Ranks in November 2013. She will get the FREA for 1 year (2013 to 2014). This will not be reduced even though her service started part-way through a year. No RPS will be paid as there has been no delay in making the repayment. She is a basic rate taxpayer.

2013 to 2014 £100 @ 20% = £20

Total Repayment due £20

If you want to claim actual expenses

If you want to claim an allowance for the actual expenses you have paid, you will need to contact HMRC at the address below with full details, including supporting evidence.

HMRC enquiries

Find contact details and the HMRC helpline opening hours

Officers and other groups

We are continuing discussions with the Ministry of Defence on laundry expenses for Officers and some other groups with different terms and conditions of employment.

Published 17 February 2014