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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Armed forces on active service: introduction

IHTA84/S154 provides an exemption from Inheritance Tax (as set out in IHTM11282) for a member of the armed forces (IHTM11302) who dies

  • from a wound inflicted, accident occurring or disease contracted on active service, IHTA84/S154(1)(a), or
  • from a disease contracted at some previous time, the death being due to, or hastened by, the aggravation of the disease whilst the person was on active service, IHTA84/S154(1)(b).

For deaths on or after 19 March 2014, the exemption also applies to members of the armed forces and civilians subject to service discipline who are responding to emergency circumstances in the course of their duties, IHTA84/S154(2)(c) and the instructions at IHTM11293 and 11294 apply.

The person must be responding to emergency circumstances ‘in the course of their duties’ and so, in line with IHTM11292, must be on duty.  A soldier who dies assisting at an incident whilst on leave, or who was on duty, but whose unit was not assigned to respond to emergency circumstances, would not qualify.

There is no time limit on when the wound, injury, accident or disease was incurred.