HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

IHTM11304 - Armed forces on active service: evidence to show exemption is due

Exemption for the armed forces can only be given upon receipt of an appropriate certificate from the Defence Business Service (DBS) Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre (JCCC), Ministry of Defence (MoD).  The wording of IHTA84/S154(1) is such that the responsibility for deciding whether the exemption is available rests solely with DBS (JCCC). If a certificate is given for serving personnel, the exemption is due; equally the exemption cannot be given without a certificate.

For deaths on or after 19 March 2014, DBS (JCCC) are also responsible for issuing a certificate where the death was as a result of service personnel responding to emergency circumstances (IHTM11294) or as a result of service personnel being targeted because of their job (IHTM11311).

All applications for a certificate should be made to

Defence Business Services

Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre

Deceased’s Estates

Room G35

Innsworth House

Imjin Barracks



Telephone 01452 712612 (ext 8174/7495)

Where DBS (JCCC) decide that the exemption is due on the death of serving personnel engaged in a current conflict or responding to emergency circumstances, they will write to the applicant and provide the appropriate certificate. The certificate should be supplied to HRMC with form IHT400.

Where the exemption has been sought as a result of the death of non-serving personnel whose death has been hastened by an injury, accident or disease contracted in a conflict or whilst responding to emergency circumstances that occurred a number of years ago, DBS (JCCC) will not issue a certificate, but instead will write to HMRC setting out the circumstances and confirming that the conditions for the relevant exemption are met.  Where such a letter is received, it should be treated in the same way as a certificate issued for serving personnel.

The same process applies whether the request for exemption concerns a member of the British armed forces or someone in the service of other armed forces, for example, the armed forces of a Commonwealth country. In the latter case, DBS (JCCC) will consider whether the person was a member of the armed forces of the Crown, before granting a certificate under section IHTA84/S154(1).