NHS workers exempt from Inheritance Tax if they die from Covid-19

23 Apr 2020

Emergency services workers, including members of the NHS, are exempt from paying Inheritance Tax if they die from Covid-19.

However, it is an exemption that must be claimed, it is not awarded automatically, so families and loved ones of NHS workers need to be aware of it and seek professional probate assistance – otherwise they risk being stung for the full 40 per cent levy.

The exemption was originally for members of the armed forces whose death was caused or hastened by an injury whilst on active service. It was extended in 2014 to cover emergency services responding to emergency circumstances, i.e. those employed or engaged in providing medical ambulance or paramedic services.

Whilst not having to pay Inheritance Tax is never going to make up for the loss of a life, it can still be an acknowledgement of the sacrifice that health care workers are making.

But who does the scheme really benefit? Some will say only rich doctors and consultants who have cash in the bank and large assets will benefit, but remember someone’s salary is not always proportional to the value of their estate, so front line nurses and other NHS workers may well benefit too.

The Government needs to promote this Inheritance Tax exemption and consider extending it to others who are rising their lives in the fight against Covid-19. These include the UK’s carers, who are all working tirelessly to support those who or elderly or otherwise vulnerable.

To thank them for their work during this difficult time, Trethowans are offering a 15% discount to all NHS staff and Key Workers on new Will preparation, find out more here.

Mihiri Gajraj is a Partner in the Wills, Trusts & Probate team at Trethowans. For further information please contact her on 0800 2800 421 or get in touch here.

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Mihiri Gajraj

Partner