Gallantry Awards Pension

Hi All,
I left the military in 2011 with a DFC gallantry award. Over the next couple of years I heard that this meant that my pension was tax free. In 2013 HMRC agreed with me that this was the case. For the last 7 years my pension has been tax free. In January HMRC wrote to me and told me that this was a mistake on their part. I know that at least 100, maybe more, servicemen and women are effected by this change. I feel for those who left the military and were relying, as I did, on this tax free income for life.
How can they just change their interpretation of the rules? I spoke to many people over the 5 years, every year asking them to confirm that this entitlement was correct, this was not one persons error, this was clearly policy. They seem to have changed this policy with no notice or consideration of the impact on the financial plans that people have made based upon their decision. I have declared all my earnings all my life, I’m not Starbucks or Amazon. Why do HMRC feel they can go after the soft targets? Is there any precedent for challenging this reversal of interpretation based upon the fact that the financial decision I have made over the past 7 years, the jobs I have taken, the choices I have made were all based upon the agreement with HMRC?
Hope someone can offer some light for all those of us that served and fought for this country only to be harrassed for even more tax!


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