Inheritance tax for those serving or who have served in the armed forces

Updated on 24 March 2020

Armed forces

This section examines whether any inheritance tax is due on your estate if you die. We only deal with individuals who are domiciled in the UK. If that is not the case, then you should take professional advice.

Inheritance tax for those serving or who have served in the armed forces

When does inheritance tax apply?

Inheritance tax is a tax that is charged on the value of a person’s estate (in other words the total value of his belongings) at the time of his death. This is subject to various allowances and exemptions, but the balance is usually charged to tax at 40%.

N.B. Any death on active service, or a death accelerated by an injury sustained on such duty, means that the estate is totally exempt from inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax can also apply to certain gifts made during lifetime. You can read more about this in our section What is inheritance tax?.

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Does inheritance tax apply only to people who die in the UK?

No. Inheritance tax is charged no matter where a person dies if they are domiciled in the UK. If part of their estate is charged to inheritance tax in another country then the estate should qualify for double taxation relief, broadly meaning that tax is not paid on the same property twice.

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I live with my partner but we are not married nor in a civil partnership. Does this make a difference?

This can make a huge difference, both to your rights under the law and to the amount of tax you may have to pay on the death of yourself or your partner. You can read more about this on the page Inheritance tax allowances and exemptions.

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Where can I find further information?

GOV.UK has a section on inheritance tax.

You can read more about inheritance tax in our Bereavement tax guide.

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