Inheritance Tax Relief for NHS and Frontline Staff

Many have called for tax relief in recognition of the exceptional work being done by NHS staff and frontline workers. What is not widely know is that there already is a relief for inheritance tax (IHT) that can apply.

The IHT relief for armed forces extended in 2015 to cover emergency service personnel will also cover most NHS and many other frontline workers. The current situation with Coronavirus is regarded as responding to emergency circumstances meaning that qualifying frontline workers lost in the fight against Coronavirus, will get 100% relief meaning they will pay no IHT on their estate. 

The definition of emergency responder currently covers:-

  • the fire service and firefighting
  • the coastguard, and other search and rescue services
  • medical, ambulance and paramedic services
  • police
  • service for the transportation of organs, blood and medical equipment
  • organisations providing humanitarian assistance, including charities and overseas governments

It is important to note that this is not an automatic relief and must be claimed. The claim must be made manually by the executor, although there is no deadline and claims can be made after inheritance tax has been paid, with any tax already paid refunded.


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