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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Employer-financed retirement benefits schemes: excluded benefits: tuition fees for armed forces personnel

Employer-Financed Retirement Benefits (Excluded Benefits for Tax Purposes) Regulations 2007 S.I. 2007 No.3537, as amended by The Employer-Financed Retirement Benefits Schemes (Excluded Benefits for Tax Purposes) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 S.I. 2011 No.2281

The payment of tuition fees (as defined below) is excluded from being a relevant benefit (EIM15021) to the extent that all the following conditions are met:

  • The payment is for tuition fees, which in this context means fees charged by the provider of a course of study leading to:

    • a higher level learning qualification and / or
    • qualification level learning.

Such fees may include registration, examination and accreditation fees.

  • Furthermore the student must be either

    • a member of the armed forces, or
    • if the member of the armed forces has died or been medically discharged: a member of his or her family
  • The fee must be for tuition delivered in the tax year 2009-2010 or in later years. It makes no difference whether the provision is under one or more actual MOD schemes.

Meaning of terms

Armed Forces means the regular forces and the reserve forces as defined in s.374 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 and former members of both

Higher Level Learning means full or part time study towards the achievement of a higher level learning qualification, where ‘higher level learning qualification’ means a qualification at Level 3 or above on the Qualifications and Credit Framework or such other equivalent qualification in respect of which qualifying persons may claim tuition fees (as defined above);

Medical Discharge means the discharge from service of a member of the armed forces (as above) because the member is medically unfit to continue in service due to injury or illness cause or worsened by service in the armed forces

Qualification Level Learning means:

  • a first qualification at Level 3 or above on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (defined below),
  • a first vocational qualification which is the equivalent of the preceding qualification,
  • a first undergraduate degree (including a foundation degree),
  • a first Higher National Certificate,
  • a first Higher National Diploma

or such other equivalent qualifications in respect of which qualifying persons may claim tuition fees (as defined above)

The Qualifications and Credit Framework is a national framework which accommodates qualifications and operates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland