Operational allowance. Is it taxable??



Can anyone help. I've just received my Op allowance for Afghanistan and it has been taxed. Is this right? If so I can now understand how much this current government are total w@nkers and why it wasn't called a tax free bonus or tax rebate. I'll be well voting for Gordon as the next PM!!!


No, the money you get is your tax back for the tour(deffo if you are a junior) and you don't pat tax on it,
Just out of interest, what did you get in your hand for a 6m tour?

The operational pay bonus was explicitly confirmed by the Secretary of State as tax-free.

LINK: Browne confirms pay bonus for Service personnel on operations

However, I did wonder how a pay component could be actually tax-free.

The operational pay bonus came about following a campaign by the BAFF project team and others to highlight the fact that other coalition personnel were free of tax on operations.

The bonus is supposed to be roughly equivalent to the amount of tax which would be paid by the most junior personnel while on operations. But it isnt actually a tax rebate.

The bonus is supposed to be worth around £2,240 to every eligible serviceman or servicewoman completing a six-month operational tour, with proportional amounts being paid to those undertaking shorter or longer tours.

No doubt there is an official explanation which I have not seen. It seems to me possible, however, that the bonus is unavoidably taxable and that MOD should therefore have increased the gross (pre-tax) figure so that the individual still gets the £2,240/6 months after tax.

Sorry that is rather a long explanation for a Saturday night, but GLESGA-NED you might check your pay slip and see how the figures compare to that £2240/6 months which was promised.


The Op Allowance is a taxable bonus the rate of which is ONE representative amount based on how much tax a particular rank would pay.

It does not change from rank to rank, so a WO1 wont get a higher bonus than a private and it IS taxable.

it is not your tax back, or a tax bonus but this is what it was sold as in the media.


Well the government a pure sneekey wee fcukers aren't they? Cheers lads. I just wanted to check the script and see if anyone else had suffered the same fate, before I went down the RAOs and rang some poor fcukers neck (quite wrongly of course as it's that prick-licker in No 11 getting his money back).
Bad_Crow said:
mine was for 9 months and i got a little over 3k... and it had been taxed
Are you sure you were taxed on your 'tax free' bonus and not your LSSA???
Just checked army net. it appears i have been bumped and as i'm on POTL will not even try and fix this until i go back.


I'm also still on POTL, and ref an earlier post from TRACSTER. In the same pay statement as my OP Allowance I was deducted 141.00 pounds for the LSSA for which I was not entitled too (fair enough). As I left theatre half way through the month. So It was definatley the Op allowance I was taxed on.
Op Allowance is defnatley 100% tax free!!! Take your statement to tour admin office - there may be a cock up but there may be a simple explination. Feel free to PM FULL details of statement to me for clarification if you want to!


paywog said:
Op Allowance is defnatley 100% tax free!!! Take your statement to tour admin office - there may be a c*** up but there may be a simple explination. Feel free to PM FULL details of statement to me for clarification if you want to!
Dunno if the admin office can do much at the moment, JPA is coming soon so wages going to be even more fcuked up.
OK, the Operational Allowance (OA) is genuinely non-taxable. Not sure how they got that one past the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs, but I'm not complaining.

[The alternative would have been to increase the gross amount before tax, but this could have produced different outcomes, due to tax rate differentials.]

See JSP 752, Chapter 10, Section 13 Operational Allowance:

Web link to PDF document.

Hope this helps.



Hackle, Cheers for the link to the JSP. Non taxable in black and white.


Book Reviewer
If you think that you've been hard done by, you can always e-mither the Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs - you'll probably get passed doen the CoC to the relevant office, but it will attract attention within HMRC towards the maladministration of this scheme.

e-mither paul.grey@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
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