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Laundry tax relief

If you wear a uniform at work and you are required to wash it yourself you may be entitled to claim a laundry allowance.

This is calculated at a flat rate expense (FRE) for health care workers, and is applied through your tax code.

Your allowance

From 6 April 2014 your allowance is as follows.

Job Allowance
Laboratory staff, pharmacist, pharmacy assistant £80
Nurse, healthcare assistant, midwife, dental nurse, occupational, speech, physiotherapist and other therapists, phlebotomist, radiographer £125
Ambulance staff on active service £185

How to claim your allowance

If you are a Pay as You Earn (PAYE) employee, you need a FRE in your tax code. Any changes to the allowance are automatically applied. If you are self-employed, you need to include a FRE in your tax code on your tax return.

Getting your increase

In February 2016, the laundry tax allowance was increased and this was backdated to 6 April 2014.

PAYE employees

If you have a FRE in your tax code:

  • you'll automatically get the increase from 6 April 2016 through your payslips
  • you'll receive a P2 coding notice before 6 April 2016. This will confirm your new tax code and any adjustments
  • you’ll receive an adjustment for the previous tax years through your payslips

If you don’t have a FRE in your tax code:

  • ask your employer to amend your tax code
  • make a backdated claim for the current tax year and four preceding years using HMRC’s personal tax account.


Self-employed healthcare workers can:

  • claim the increased allowance on future tax returns using the FRE tax code
  • if you have already submitted your 2014-15 tax return with the old amount, you can change it through HMRC it until 31 January 2017.
  • make a backdated claim for the current tax year and four preceding years using HMRC’s personal tax account.

Contact HMRC if you are worried

If you have any questions about claiming laundry allowance and any increases, contact HMRC on 0845 300 0627 or see more about uniform tax relief on the HMRC website.