Why Not a Tax Free Army?


Many civilians are of the opinion that we are a tax free area for some reason, but why shouldn't we be?  Imagine how it would improve life for us all...

1) Pay would immediately rise as no tax would be deducted.
2) The Army would save huge amounts when buying everything from fuel to sausages thus releasing more money to be spent on welfare, accomodation etc.
3) People would be queueing up to join in their thousands in order to live a life where they could have a tax free car, MP3 player etc.

Our tax goes to the government who pay us out of..err... taxes which take money to process, thus losing money along the way...  Why not keep the money within the Army to start with instead of squandering it in administration as it circulates through several government departments before coming back to us?

I'm sure there is a terribly good reason why we pay tax in the Forces, I just can't think of one that stands up to proper scrutiny.
You are absolutely right Purple, There doesn't seem to be any decent reason as to why we do pay taxes - imagine what it could do for retention!  Suddenly the grass on the other sde might not look so green!.  I know that some other armies do not pay tax whilst deployed on operations (the US being a good example) but the X Factor (!) supposedly compensates for this.  Surely though we are looking at this with far too much common sense.
I remember having read this argument in Soldier some time ago.  The reply was that the average soldier would remain better off by paying taxes, notwithstanding deployment / overseas postings etc.

Now I'm no rocket scientist but even simple Infantry maths suggests that this is financially impossible!

Just think of all of the benefits we recieve living in trenches / portacabins as a result of our tax paying.  

Still, it does make you smile when you see 12 MILAN missiles flying down range.  Now that's a top use of taxes!
I'm all for the idea of not paying taxes in the Army.. especially when posted out of the UK.  However, look at it this way..

I pay on average about £250 a month income tax. Now as a LCpl, I am at the lower end of the scale.  And I'm no mathematician nor an accountant, so my figures are most likely waaaay off, but I'll give it a go.  Say the average from new PTE right up to the likes of Gen Jackson pays on average £500 a month in tax. I know the Generals probably pay a ton more being in the high tax bracket and the PTE probably only earns that, but I say average.
That's £6000 per soldier in tax every year.  If we say that there are what.. approx 110,000 regulars in the Army, that's £660 Million pounds a year for the Army alone - not counting RAF and Navy.
Now if they suddenly said that "BANG!" - The Forces no longer pay taxes.  If we also guess that the Navy and RAF earn APPROX. the same as the Army, then thats up to almost £2 Billion a year.  Now last years defence budget ran at about £23.6 Billion, £6.5 Billion of which was spent on Service personnel - Kit/ Wages/ training/ vetting etc.  (Just over a quarter of the total) That £2Bn that is the Armed forces taxes is therefore a third of what is spent on us.  Now, the government can't pull £2Bn out of their arrses and would have to recoup that from somewhere else - Most likely Services wages!  Now would any of you take a 33% drop in wages if it meant you could not pay tax?  I know I couldn't.

However.. I do believe I have ramble on enough, but what I am in favour of, is that when stationed overseas, LOA should be binned along with Tax.  And no, I can't be rightly arsed to come up with an explanation for that one!  ;D

Ladies and Gents I thank you.. my brain is now empty.   ::)


The reason the Army is not tax free is a very good one.

If the army became tax free the government would see another opportunity to screw soldiers.

You would end up collecting pennies in a rusty can to supplement your "tax- free" adjusted income.
Quite obviously, the way ahead is to just not tax our pay.......period!

Failing that, give us all a 30% pay rise - the money's there.....

And think what it would do for recruitment/retention? 8)


I seem to remember seeing somewhere that the Septics shop Tax-free in their PX/BXs, even in their own country, and even after they've retired!  How come all we get is a NAAFI that charges us more than local supermarkets?

AND, Mrs Sinner works for a London-based air-line, and gets a tax-rebate in accordance with how many days she spends abroad every month. The logic being that she was working overseas, (lounging by the pool, shopping, ambassador's cocktail party etc etc) and thus earned the money overseas.   Surely 6 months living in arrse conditions in the Balkans etc etc justifies some sort of recognition?

And yes, you are right; as Her Maj's servants we are in the lucky group of punters who get stung for the ful amount of tax all the time; we're a captive audience.


OK..let's make it simpler...forget the Tax Free bit, that was NEVER going to happen, despite the Red Tops' short lived campaign during the height of TELIC but how about making the allowances more meaningful or at least fairer?

Take LSSA. An allowance to recompense individuals for some of the out of pocket expenses incurred when serving apart from our loved ones, right? The odd pad of Basildon Bond, a book of postage stamps and half a dozen text messages. Why then is this allowance taxed? Doesn't the 40% tax payer miss his loved ones just as much as the 25% tax payer? Actually, come to think of it, he's probably got more to miss! :wink:

Am i missing something?


why cant we just get paid net so we dont see all that cash going to tonys piss up fund id like to be told my weekly wage and get the same ammount at the end.


Nice idea, not paying tax on ops but does anybody really think any goverment who likes nice cars, nice holidays, nice lunches etc is going to let hard working soliders have any PERKS! dont be stupid i remember when the poll tax started and we got shafted then as well, and then "oh look all them soliders with TVs, more money he he"
Born free taxed to death


Good to see that 30 years on, the same questions keep coming up. Of course you have to pay tax - it's you guys that pay my army pension - I've done my stint, now it's your turn.

The Americans get to use the PX after they retire because the whole PX organisation is funded by the US Government as a functional part of the U.S. Armed Forces. The PX is one of many retirement benefits they offer to their veterans, just like we used to be able to opt to go to military hospitals for treatment - what's that ? They've closed them as well !!!!!

The last time I checked, NAAFI was owned (or probably operated is a better analogy) by SPAR, which is a Dutch owned supermarket chain and is subject to all the vagaries of the commercial market.
If we didnt pay taxes there would be less Govt money to spend on the welfare state therefore the many thousands of spotty teenagers who spend their days in bed would get paid less money in state handouts. This would in turn make the Army more attractive to them, they would join up and we would have no recruitment problems.


Having said that, I for one am proud to pay a %age of my wage every month to help my country run in the efficient, smooth manner in which it does.
SIB_GOD said:
Having said that, I for one am proud to pay a %age of my wage every month to help my country run in the efficient, smooth manner in which it does.
Repeat after me: "Oh Yesureee - I love my country, my country loves me...." Keep going until you stop. Then I suggest you send me your name and address, all your money, your bank account details and I'll make sure it's well looked after.

Oh taxes oh ladida damn contentious issue all the time.

I do remember that shortly after the Iron Lady came to power that the armed forces received a stonkingly good pay rise (29 % wasnt it?), because the armed forces pay wasnt as good as it should be and they even had Sgt's on Income Support.

(Um hang on I know a few Sgt's who are on Working Families Tax Credit) maybe its time to vote Tory again en-masse.
There's no way the govt will stop taxing the arse out of everyone. Poll Tax changed to Council Tax, and Tony's mob said they would change that. They did of course, put it up, each year since they first got the keys to #10!

I take it the CILOCT is still being deducted from all serving overseas? I never had the binmen come round to my room and clear my gash, had to do that myself (No doubt Outside Areas in Autumn aren't done by the local Stadt workers either).

I got out after 24 years man and boy in 2001. Commited the sin of choosing to live overseas (Belize), yet my pension is taxed at source and I don't stand a cat in hell's chance of claiming any back. I don't get access to a NAAFI, Military Medical facilities etc. (Unlike our cousins accross the Pond), so will never (Unless I move back to the UK) see any benefits from paying income tax. So you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be shafted while you serve your country, and it won't change once you get out, no matter where you want to live!!

Hey, but Tony has a nice fleet of cars, designer suits, kids in private schools etc. and exclusive use of an RAF Tristar because the VC10's were too small! We should all be proud to contribute to this, after all he got voted in for a second term!

Oh, and going by what happened after the last Gulf war, you guys and girls still serving should pray that this one goes on for a while, 'cos as soon as it is over redundancies could follow as part of another 'Strategic' cash saving purge!!!!

I'm rooting for all who are on Ops - Keep yer heads down and get home safely.


If I remember correctly, when the Septics go on Ops, they do not pay tax. This would be a nice recompense for having to do yet another crappy 6 month tour in some festering hell hole. I believe that a few other of our NATO comrades also get quite significant pay rises when on Ops.

We will never get a break like that though. Heaven forbid that the Gov't actually do something decent for the forces for once. Anyway, if they stopped robbing us of our hard earned cash, how else could they finance the lazy spongers and illegals that are sucking our country dry?!!


I don't see what all the fuss is about, think of all that LSSA. Oh sorry I forgot they tax that too!
Not paying tax on ops is never going to happen until I'm Prime-Minister.



Thank you Climber, do you fancy being Chancelor? Nell McAndrew has said she will be Minister for the Armed Forces.

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