Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) in Luxembourg moved to online filing from the first quarter 2021 submission. Alongside this, they also changed the authority deadline to the 15th of the month following the quarter. This change caused some upheaval as many insurance companies were already pulling data from the underwriting systems, reviewing the information (sometimes manually), and ensuring the declarations would be correct for other territories also due by the 15th.
More European tax authorities going digital
Luxembourg wasn’t the first or last territory to move to an online platform. Germany and Ireland followed within a year of Luxembourg’s implementation. In contrast, French authorities have delayed implementing their online filing process until 2023. Additionally, more tax authorities require accounts for Direct Debit set up rather than the usual SEPA or priority payments being made with specific references.
Why is tax filing moving online?
It’s clear why tax authorities are moving to online platforms. Having a digital filing process is an easier and more efficient process for what could be thousands of declarations being submitted by various sources. Plus, online filing gives tax authorities greater visibility, meaning they have more opportunities for analysis. What puzzles us, is why so many tax authorities choose to have their deadlines on or around the 15th? This deadline only provides a short timeframe for insurance companies to close the month, pull the data and make the declarations.
IPT changes in Luxembourg
Apart from these updates, Luxembourg hasn’t implemented many changes in the past, regarding IPT. The most recent that we can recall is the introduction of the Tax for Rescue Services on Motor Class 10 policies, which came into effect on 1 October 2016. As the tax rates are relatively low compared to other territories, it’s entirely plausible that we could see a future increase.
IPT is a niche tax that isn’t always at the forefront of the business radar. It wasn’t until we began to look at the actual process of filing the online declarations did we realize that the process is an adaption of what is used for VAT and other taxes or designed around domestic insurers rather than freedom of services. At least that’s what it seems for Luxembourg.
Over the past year, we have found that the online filing system has become quicker and easier to navigate, with the delays between authentication of a declaration taking seconds rather than minutes. The declaration is still similar to what was submitted on the paper form, breaking down the liabilities per class of business, entering the premiums and then an automatic application of the percentage rate.
Is this the end of territories moving to an online filing solution? Probably not. Will there be more digitization from tax authorities to bring IPT in line with most other tax reporting? We think so.