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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Official Agents

`Official agents’ of foreign (that is non-Commonwealth) Governments may be entitled to exemption from Income Tax under S301 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA 2003) in respect of their official emoluments. Those entitled to exemption are

  • staff of agencies and departments (but see INTM860510)
  • foreign military officers receiving training in the United Kingdom.

Exemption does not apply to

  • Commonwealth citizens or citizens of the Republic of Ireland


  • individuals whose activities are of a trading nature.

No part of a pension received for services as an official agent of a foreign Government by an individual who resides in the United Kingdom after retirement qualifies for exemption.

If you are asked to comment on the residence status of an official agent or other individual under a double taxation agreement, submit the case to BAI, Business International (Immunities & Privileges).