Claiming tax back for 10+ Years in BFG????


War Hero
As the topic says are you eligible to claim tax back for serving in BFG for 10 plus years.

My Chief Clerk is looking into it.

Thought I may as well post it on here to to a wider audience.

Is it a Myth???


Book Reviewer
Why would you expect a tax repayment because you had spent 10 years + in BFG?

The HMRC website has some information. You might like to look at the stuff about non-residents I suspect that the Treasury has an arrangement with the MOD that BFG residents are treated as UK residents for tax purposes (otherwise you would be paying Federal and Lander taxes in Germany)

Don't be surprised when your Chief Clerk tells you that it's all a myth.
If they wont give you tax back for serving outside Europe on operations you can be sure they wont give it to you for staying within the EU.


You can only claim it back if you are living under the German economy. For example if you left the army and lived in Germany and worked in Germany for 10 years plus. Been in the army does not count which is why we still pay UK tax. Hope this helps.


As a Chief Clerk who has chased this particular chestnut before, the official line is that all crown service counts as being within the UK for tax purposes.

My heart always sinks when my SQMS starts a conversation with the line 'I was in the Mess last night and someone said....' :frustrated:
I have looked into this in the past to see who is and is not entitled to work abroad and enjoy being "Tax-free".

On the government website you come across this:

Can a Crown servant be treated as Not Resident and Not Ordinarily Resident in the UK for UK tax purposes?

Yes. The rules for deciding the residence status of UK Crown Servants are the same as for other groups of employees.

If you leave the UK to work full-time abroad under a contract of employment, you are treated as not resident and not ordinarily resident if you meet all the following conditions:

Your absence from the UK and your employment abroad both last for at least a complete UK tax year following the year of your departure from the UK. During your absence any visits you make to the UK total less than 183 days in any tax year, and average less than 91 days a tax year.
The Inland Revenue's booklet IR20 gives further information regarding the rules of residency if required.

Your residence status would be determined on receipt of a completed form P85.

I have never tried this but at a glance it would appear to apply equally to a soldier serving on a long post to Germany/Cyprus etc as it would to an embassy bloke on diplomatic service.

It would not suit for a 6 month Op as you are not contracted for the full year (even though you spend the required amount of time out of the UK).

Great thing from the Gov's point of view concerning our tax system is that it is so complicated only rich people (who can afford to employ accountants) can benefit from it! I'm sure that if I had an accountant he could find ways to recoup the money we spend on being in crown service for haircuts, uniforms, non-issued but necessary kit etc.

Anyone who knows the ins and outs of why Forces are not treated as Tax exempt when deployed long term abroad - please add your tuppence worth!

My tuppenceworth put, rant over, back to work!

I've just applied for a form P85 as stated above, if we all do this and submit it we will get the answer to why UK Forces based in Germnay pay tax.
Good work girlofthewoods
Good luck, you may be wasting your time. You would be better asking why we pay Mehrvetstuer (VAT) on our telephone bills. Everyone in the CoC knows its wrong - so do the Germans, but it is apparently too ebarrasing to make them pay us back. That would be worth more than any back tax due!

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