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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Staff of Agents-General/Official Agents

Any person employed in the United Kingdom in either of the following capacities, is, subject to certain conditions, entitled to the same immunity from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax as a member of the staff of a diplomatic mission. The employments are

  • as a member of the personal staff of an Agent - General
  • as an official agent for


  • a Commonwealth country or any state or province of a Commonwealth Country, or the Republic of Ireland or
  • any colony certified by the Secretary of State to be self-governing

The conditions are that

  • the person is not employed in any trade, business or any other undertaking carried on for the purposes of profit. [Employees of Commonwealth and other Government trading organisations such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia are therefore excluded] and
  • the person is certified by the High Commissioner or Agent - General concerned to be


  • ordinarily resident outside the United Kingdom and
  • resident in the United Kingdom solely to carry out his duties as a member of the personal staff or as an official agent

For the purpose of these instructions `High Commissioner’ means the head of the relevant mission by whatever name he is called.

Most Commonwealth High Commission staff are entitled to diplomatic privilege under INTM860210 onwards. The instructions in INTM860220 onwards will generally apply to staff of Agents-General and official agents, but refer a new case to BAI, Business International (Immunities & Privileges)to confirm that exemption is due.