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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Emergency service personnel responding to emergency circumstances: meaning of emergency circumstances

IHTA84/153A(3) sets out the situations that are ‘emergency circumstances’ for the purposes of the exemption. These are circumstances which are present or imminent and are causing, or are likely to cause

  1. the death of a person,
  2. serious injury to, or the serious illness of, a person,
  3. the death of an animal,
  4. serious injury to, or the serious illness of, an animal,
  5. serious harm to the environment (including the life and health of plants and animals),
  6. serious harm to any building or other property, or
  7. a worsening of such injury, illness or harm.

Emergency circumstances can arise anywhere in world and anyone responding to those circumstances in the capacity of an emergency responder (IHTM11292) may qualify for the exemption.

Although it would normally be expected that a member of the UK emergency services would be responding to emergency circumstances in the UK and a humanitarian aid worker would the responding to emergency circumstances elsewhere in the world, the reverse could apply and an person who dies providing search and rescue services following an earthquake in, say, Turkey would qualify as would, say, a police officer  or soldier who is swept away and drowns whilst attempting to deliver food supplies to flood victims in the UK.