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How to Avoid Errors in Fire Brigade Charge Reporting in Spain

Hector Fernandez
May 11, 2021

The Spanish tax system is one of the most complex in Europe. This can bring a real challenge to insurance companies writing business in Spain or for those that want to start writing business in the country.

As explained in previous blogs, Spain has various taxes and surcharges on insurance premiums with different rates and several reports which must be declared. In this blog, we’ll focus on the Fire Brigade Charge (FBC).

Fire Brigade Charge

FBC is one of the surcharges that insurance companies should file and pay in Spain. Its complexity lies in the fact that the surcharge is the full responsibility of the local governments (councils, provincial councils, etc.).

According to local legislation, municipalities with more than twenty thousand inhabitants are obliged to provide the fire extinguishing service themselves or by association. There are more than 380 municipalities that can create their own FBC municipal taxes. In addition, there are 41 provincial councils that provide support to those small municipalities.

Annual report: Who has the obligation to file the report?

To be compliant with the FBC, insurance entities must file reports in these cases:

  • Entities authorised to write class 8 and 9 (Fire & Natural Forces and other damages to Property) in Spain need to report the policies subscribed during the last year.
  • An entity that has ceased its activity in Spain and will no longer write insurance business in this territory must declare the policies insured for the part of the year that the entity was active. This applies even if the entity will not be active or will not continue covering risk in Spain.

Important points about Spain’s Fire Brigade Charge

As explained previously, the FBC is a municipality charge. It’s extremely important to identify the location of the risk insured, which is possible through the use of postal codes. It’s important to include the correct post code to ensure a successful submission. This is for both the municipalities and to be compliant with the FBC report.

In the report the class of business must be split by fire and natural forces and other damages to property as follows:

  • Multi risk homeowners
  • Fire
  • Multi risk shop
  • Multi risk industry
  • Other multi risk policies

It’s also important to correctly classify the fire and multi risk policies. Levies can vary substantially if the class of business is wrongly identified, from 5% to 2.5%.

As explained, businesses need to submit the FBC report annually. The annual FBC report requires collecting information regularly for use. This will avoid delays in collecting the necessary information.

Take Action

Talk to our team to find out how we can help you stay compliant in Spain or watch our on-demand webinar – The Complexity of Insurance Premium Tax Compliance in Spain.

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Author

Hector Fernandez

Hector, a principal compliance services representative, joined the country team at Sovos in 2019 and specializes in Spanish insurance premium taxes. He has eight years’ experience working in Spain (Broseta Abogados) and Dublin (HERTZ) in tax departments dealing with direct and indirect taxes and has completed a Degree in Law and a Masters in International and Community Taxes. He is a Member of the Bar association Law Madrid (ICAM).
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