Following the publication of various circulars by the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany in 2021, rules on the taxation of guarantee commitments were made effective 1 January 2023. This blog explains how this affects insurers and other suppliers.
The Ministry of Finance published its initial circular in May 2021. This was in response to a Federal Fiscal Court judgment. It concerned a seller of motor vehicles providing a guarantee to buyers beyond the vehicle’s warranty.
In these circumstances, the circular confirmed that the guarantee is not an ancillary service to vehicle delivery but is deemed to be an insurance benefit. As such, it would attract IPT instead of VAT – unless the guarantee is considered a full maintenance contract.
The circular did not prompt immediate concern within the insurance sector. Markets outside the motor vehicle industry weren’t concerned either. The presumption was that it was limited to the specific context of the motor vehicle industry.
Matters changed the following month. The Ministry of Finance clarified that the tax principles it outlined in fact applied to all industries. As a result, the scope of these rules became potentially limitless in Germany. All guarantees provided as additional products to goods or services sold are now within the scope of the application of IPT.
The clarification could impact industries like those organisations selling electrical items and household appliances.
The effect on traditional insurance companies should be relatively limited as they do not usually provide guarantees as part of the sales of goods and services. There could arguably be a significant impact on other suppliers that do provide such guarantees.
First and foremost, there is a potential increase in the cost of providing the guarantees caused by the application of IPT. Unlike input VAT, a supplier cannot deduct IPT from its taxable income – it must either increase prices to compensate or accept a less favourable profit margin.
Any companies that purchase the guarantees cannot reclaim the IPT either, as they can do with VAT. The standard IPT rate of 19% in Germany is high compared to most European countries. This exacerbates these issues.
There are also practical considerations to bear in mind for suppliers obliged to settle IPT with the tax authority. They are presumably required to be registered for IPT purposes like insurers, although the Ministry of Finance has not formally confirmed this.
Perhaps more difficult is the issue of licensing. The Ministry of Finance circulars focus on taxation, leaving it unclear whether other suppliers are now required to obtain a license to write insurance under German regulatory law.
Looking for more information on general IPT matters in Germany? Speak to our expert team. For more information about IPT in general read our guide for insurance premium tax.
Slovenia’s Fire Brigade Tax (FBT) has changed.
The rate increased from 5% to 9%. This came into effect on 1 October 2022. The first submission deadline followed on 15 November 2022.
Unfortunately, the transition has been plagued by problems. We discuss some issues and how Sovos is approaching them.
We had anticipated that the tax return would remain unchanged, with the premium reduction at 20% and the standard at 100% carrying over from the previous version. Instead, the Slovenian tax authorities overhauled the return entirely. This included:
With the combinations, a return could include up to 30 different lines, but the return only includes four – one for each combination.
This layout suggests that the tax authority wishes to combine policies with the same rates, e.g., 100% and 9%.
This differs from previous returns.
Previously each class of business had a separate line. Sovos has contacted the tax authority about the most compliant way to complete this.
Some aesthetic changes caused unexpected issues.
Telephone numbers now have a set number of boxes instead of an open line.
This change doesn’t accommodate longer phone numbers. For example, a UK phone number doesn’t fit.
This requires clarification from the tax authorities:
Postcodes also have the same issue.
As frustrating as these issues are, there is a more significant frustration.
The amount of time between the new return’s publishing and the first submission deadline The new return was published online roughly three weeks before the deadline.
This was a very short turnaround to upload the returns to the systems and solve any problems that may have arisen, as well as informing clients about any new information that may be required here.
Fortunately, no new information was required. Short deadlines to comply with new tax return requirements are a frequent problem we encounter.
Guidance from the tax authority has been inconsistent at best.
For example, the law passed in May 2022 stated the following:
The new Fire Brigade Tax rate would apply to the cash received date. The 9% rate applies to any premiums generated after 1 October 2022.
However, guidance on the official Slovenian tax authority website stated that if the inception date for the policy was before 1 October, the 5% rate would still apply. This is regardless of when the premium was collected. This applies until the policy is renewed. At this point, the 9% rate is applied. This is a significant conflict. It’s potentially millions of euros difference in the amount due. Don’t forget the countless corrections required to balance the books.
As well as being issued late, multiple tax return versions were published online. Only one had the updated tax rate included. The return disappeared from the website and was replaced by the original return.
The English translation and other versions haven’t been updated – this is still the case even after the deadline.
Finally, the guidance on the tax authority’s website states it’s mandatory to submit the FBT returns online through the tax authority portal.
However, official communications from the tax authority directly informed us at Sovos that submissions were required by email only.
Again, this is a significant conflict. Submitting returns through the wrong channel would result in the tax authority declaring the submission late and levying fines.
We have communicated all these issues to the Slovenian tax authority. We haven’t received a response yet, but we will update this blog as soon as we have more information.
Sovos has a wealth of experience that enables us to solve issues that arise and ensure our customers remain compliant with the latest tax requirements.
Want to ensure compliance with the latest Fire Brigade Tax requirements? Speak to our experts.
Until the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, the view was that businesses provide insurance such as Employers’ Liability during normal day-to-day operations. Employers’ Liability insurance is compulsory, protecting a company’s employees and workplace visitors for accidents where a claim needs to be settled.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the definition of a workplace has changed. It’s no longer solely an office or factory, now a workplace is likely to include an employee’s home.
Although the world has gotten used to Covid-19, it is something we’ll all have to live with for the foreseeable future. Therefore, all employers have had to consider what future working arrangements they need to have in place based on the type of business.
Companies primarily office-based before the pandemic have taken the opportunity to discuss these future arrangements with employees. Many have adopted hybrid working which includes a combination of office and home working where possible. It does seem very unlikely that in the short-term there will be a move for people to return to working in the office full-time.
Companies will need to consider the events they will need insurance for and how this will impact their current insurance policies.
This means that while they’ll still need mandatory insurance, such as Employers’ Liability, some requirements will likely have a greater impact on the insurance coverage and premiums moving forward.
This could include regular home Health and Safety checks to ensure employees’ working environment meets the company’s rules and regulations. Insurers could require all employers to provide evidence that their employees have passed annual health and safety tests to ensure ongoing compliance. Having this information on file ready to present to insurers if an accident happens at home to an employee during their working day would provide comfort to businesses for future claims that they won’t be rejected.
It’s also worth pointing out that the working day has changed for many, from a strict ‘9 to 5’ to more flexible arrangements to accommodate childcare and other responsibilities. This change in working hours should be taken into consideration by employers and insurers for accident claims that in pre-Covid times would have been outside regular working hours.
The other types of insurance policies likely to be affected by changes in working arrangements are:
Businesses should review all their current insurance policies to ensure they have the necessary coverages in place to protect against these changes in working arrangements. The implications of not getting insurance coverages right could be serious for the company. If this isn’t something they’re looking at already, they should start the process sooner rather than later to avoid potential future problems for themselves and their employees.
Speak to our tax experts for help with business insurance compliance.
Meet the Expert is our series of blogs where we share more about the team behind our innovative software and insurance premium tax (IPT) compliance services.
As a global organisation with indirect tax experts across all regions, our dedicated team are often the first to know about regulatory changes and developments in global tax regimes to support you in your tax compliance.
We spoke with Sean Burton, senior compliance services representative who explained Slovakia’s specific IPT reporting requirements and shared some of his top tips to ensure compliance.
I’m a senior compliance services representative for IPT at Sovos. I joined the company just over three years ago and have mainly worked with clients writing global insurance programmes, exposing me to a wide range of scenarios within IPT.
My day-to-day role now involves overseeing the review and return preparation process for associates and representatives’ data, ensuring accurate submissions are prepared in a timely manner. The final step in this sequence is for me to sign off the final returns and pass them to our client money team. Outside of this work I deal with client queries, assisting with more complex annual reporting requirements and submission of the Slovakian IPT returns.
The IPT tax regime in Slovakia took over from the previous Non-Life Insurance Levy tax on 1 January 2019. Any policies incepted on or after this date are subject to the IPT tax as opposed to the old levy.
The tax rate remained the same at a flat 8% rate across all business classes.
There are three tax points for IPT in Slovakia:
This offers insurers greater flexibility with their tax points in comparison to other territories, allowing the insurer to pay taxes either upfront or spread across multiple returns in installments. The main point here is once a specific tax point has been selected, the insurer must use it for the next eight submission periods. After this they can change the tax point should they wish.
Slovakian IPT is submitted electronically via an online tax portal. The submission and payment are due at the end of each quarter.
As with most territories that have moved to online filings, the Slovakia tax authorities now require more specific information for each policy. As a result, Sovos now requests an additional field in our data template so that we can report this accurately.
Type of movement:
E/R – Issuance of a premium/renewals: grouped on the tax return by class of business. It’s important to note that an overall negative position for a specific business class is not permissible and will be rejected in the Slovakian Tax Portal.
S – Supplementary premium: the case whereby a premium or part thereof, is increased, reduced or cancelled. These premiums are reported within Box 19 on the Slovakian IPT return, where the total can be either positive or negative.
C – Correction of error: In the case of a correction of error a supplementary declaration must be submitted for the appropriate period affected.
This can be a problem for insurers who haven’t previously collated this information and it’s not part of their current internal booking systems, which can take time to update.
Another issue for insurers writing policies with a long duration over a number of years is that whilst the IPT regime took over from the old Non-life insurance levy (NLIL), NLIL can still be due if the policy incepted prior to 2019. Therefore, it’s important for insurers to be aware of this distinction and ensure both taxes are paid accurately.
My top tip for IPT reporting in Slovakia would be to collect as much detailed policy information as possible to complete the separate sections of the IPT return compliantly.
This will also help insurers be organised for any further updates to Slovakian reporting in the future. Requesting detailed policy information is a trend we’re seeing across all territories and insurers need to be prepared for this.
Firstly, at Sovos we have a good connection with local associates in Slovakia. This means we can keep our finger on the pulse with any IPT related legislative changes that arise in Slovakia.
Secondly, the online submission process requires each box to be manually inputted with information such as premium tax amounts, contact information and tax point selection. Leaving this process in our hands will certainly save insurers valuable time.
Have questions about IPT compliance? Speak to our tax experts or download our e-book, Indirect Tax Rules for Insurance Across the World.
Space insurance and the application of IPT on these policies has been a talking point in recent months. The main question? Location of risk.
This blog considers the background and explores the current state of space insurance.
Space insurance typically provides a broad range of coverage relating to spacecraft, such as satellites and rockets, but also covers the vehicle used for launching the spacecraft.
Although not an exhaustive list, some of the classes of insurance set at European Union (EU) level that we expect to be included are:
Given the different elements of coverage possible, it is important to tax each element appropriately.
For example, the portion of the coverage related to damage to the spacecraft itself (including fire) may result in certain parafiscal charges due on property and fire insurance in some countries.
On the other hand, the portion of the coverage relating to the transport of the spacecraft may benefit from one of the exemptions that exists in many EU jurisdictions for goods in transit insurance.
It is worth noting that the United Kingdom has an IPT exemption relating to contracts of insurance for the operation of spacecraft within certain classes of business (including those classes identified above). The scope includes the operation of the spacecraft during launch, flight, orbit or re-entry, and the operation of the launch vehicle and any business interruption cover. This does not, however, extend to risks relating to spacecraft construction.
There may be multiple risk locations depending on the specific coverages provided on the policy.
When parts of a spacecraft are manufactured and then subsequently assembled, for example, they are considered moveable property and, as such, would be taxable in the property’s location based on EU rules, if contained in a building there.
When transporting spacecraft ahead of launch, then it would be taxable in the location of the establishment of the policyholder to which the insurance contract relates. Similarly, risks covering the launch, ongoing operation of the spacecraft once in orbit, and during the de-commissioning stage should be expected to be taxed in the same way.
From discussions within the market, we are aware that the practice has generally been to treat space policies as wholly exempt from IPT and parafiscal charges. This is rather than taking the approach to look at each element of the policy to see if they should be taxed, and if so, then how should the location of risk rules be applied to determine the correct country or countries.
Despite this practice, the market is presently rethinking its approach to taxing these policies. This is to mitigate the risk of assessments from EU tax authorities claiming for unpaid taxes. Subject to any future legal rulings affecting the market, the likely outcome is that IPT and parafiscal charges are charged as outlined unless there is a specific exemption.
Still trying to figure out how to approach space insurance? Get in touch with our IPT experts and request
There are several countries within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) that have introduced a Fire Brigade Tax (FBT). Fire Brigade Tax is payable on certain premium amounts and usually in addition to Insurance Premium Tax (IPT).
Fire Brigade Tax, or the Fire Brigade Charge (FBC) or Fire Protection Fee (FPF) as it’s known in some territories, is levied on the proportion of the premium that covers fire risks. Fire Brigade Tax is calculated on the fire premium multiplied by the applicable Fire Brigade Tax rate, which seems straightforward but, as is often the case with IPT, some countries have made this calculation quite complex.
This blog summarises the challenges around Fire Brigade Tax calculation and what to consider when calculating Fire Brigade Tax, as well as including country specific rules. For further information about country specific Fire Brigade Tax rules read our blog posts about UK, Portugal and Slovenia.
Solvency II Directive 2009/138/EC doesn’t provide a definition of fire proportion.
The following approach is the most common way to determine the fire proportion of FBT regulations (e.g. Austria).
In Luxembourg the rule is as follows: where the fire and natural forces element cannot be separately identified, the 6% rate applies to 40% of the premium in case of household contents or 50% of the premium in case of non-household contents. This is based on guidance issued by the Luxembourg Tax Office.
In Belgium, the taxable premium for Security Fund for Fire and Explosion charge (Fire INAMI) is dependent on the type of risk covered. The fire proportion is determined by the Law on compulsory healthcare and compensation insurance. For example, for premiums covering terrorism risks the fire proportion is 35%, while for electricity risk it’s 10%. It‘s not possible to deviate from these dictated fire proportions.
In Austria the fire proportion rate can be determined by the insurer based on the covered risks.
An interesting example of Fire Brigade Tax calculation is Finland where the taxable basis of IPT is increased by the amount of calculated Fire Brigade Tax.
As these examples demonstrate, there are many different approaches to the Fire Brigade Tax. Insurers need to stay up-to-date with the local Fire Brigade Tax regulations to correctly calculate the Fire Brigade Tax amount.
When calculating the fire proportion, it’s important to understand that Fire Brigade Tax is not only applicable for fire risks but is due on other risks too. Understanding what risks may trigger Fire Brigade Tax liability requires familiarising ourselves in the mappings of the covered risks.
The immediate answer is Class 8, Fire and Natural Forces. According to Annex I of the Solvency II Directive Class 8, Fire and natural forces covers “All damage to or loss of property (other than property included in classes 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) due to fire, explosion, storm, natural forces other than storm, nuclear energy, land subsidence.”
And from this definition it’s not difficult to figure out what other classes may be impacted by Fire Brigade Tax. So, these are Class 3 Land Vehicles, Class 4 Railway rolling stock, Class 5 Aircraft, Class 6 Ships, Class 7 Goods in Transit and Class 9 Other Damage to Property.
From a risks point of view, Fire Brigade Tax is usually charged on theft, hail and frost damages on top of the fire, storms or land subsidence.
Up-to date knowledge of the Fire Brigade Tax rates is required to calculate Fire Brigade Tax. Plus, you also need to know how the settlement is working, that is where to declare Fire Brigade Tax, what form should be used and the payment method etc.
Staying up to date with Fire Brigade Tax rates is even more important. In our ever-changing world tax rates increase and decrease constantly depending on the climate and politics.
Fire Brigade Tax rates vary across the EU. In Slovenia Fire Brigade Tax rates increased from 5% to 9% as of 1 October 2022. The new rate is applicable to policies that were cashed on or after 1 October 2022.
In some countries there are no separate Fire Brigade Tax regimes as such, but if fire is covered by the premium, then the applicable Insurance Premium Tax rate is higher. Examples include France and Greece. In Greece if the premium covers fire risks a higher IPT rate of 20% is applicable.
There are countries (Iceland), where, broadly speaking, Insurance Premium Tax applies only if fire is covered.
And lastly, there are countries where separate Fire Brigade Tax regimes exist and Fire Brigade Tax is calculated on the fire proportion and the applicable Fire Brigade Tax rate is applied. Examples include Austria, Germany and Luxembourg.
The Fire Brigade Tax rates discussed so far are in territories where the taxable premium rate model is used. However, there are Fire Brigade Tax regimes using other rate models too, like the sum insured. This is the case in Liechtenstein where Fire Brigade Tax is calculated based on the value of the property.
Within the frame of this topic, it’s also worth mentioning that Fire Brigade Tax can be insurer borne, insured borne or both. In Austria for example, 4% of the Fire Brigade Tax is insured borne and is invoiced to the policyholder as an addition to the premium and the other 4% is insurer borne and is deducted from the collected premium.
Completing the Fire Brigade Tax obligation requires submitting the tax declaration and paying the corresponding tax. These two processes can be referred to as settlement.
The variety of Fire Brigade Tax settlement processes is colourful. Differences exist in:
For compliant tax settlement, it’s vital that understanding and interpretation of Insurance Premium Tax regulation is up-to-date and accurate.
Need to learn more about Fire Brigade Tax regimes? Contact Sovos’ IPT expert team who are happy to help you.
Registering for Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) across Europe is often complex and can raise several additional questions. This is particularly pertinent if your company has branches established in different territories: can we register our head office and file a single return for all branches via this registration? What about branches operating on a freedom of service (FoS) basis? What about domestic branches? Is it mandatory or optional to register branches?
Before we dive into these questions, let’s take a closer look at why branches are useful. Some insurers prefer to have a separate IPT registration for their branches, even if it’s not a mandatory requirement of the country. It’s often an easier method of handling IPT compliance for the country, based on the reports generated from internal accounting systems. For acquisitive insurance companies who may be using legacy systems, it’s simpler to have individual branch registrations rather than consolidating all branches into a single return filed via the head office.
For many territories, it’s not mandatory to have branches operating as it’s possible for EU domiciled companies to register and file taxes through their head office, operating under FoS across the European Union. However, this is territory dependent and some require branch registration, as we will explain later.
In addition to the registration of your head office operating on a FoS basis, it’s also possible to register branches in some territories. Each branch must also be authorised independently by the regulators in their country of domicile to operate on a FoS basis.
In some territories such as Spain, Portugal and Italy it’s not mandatory to have a branch as taxes can be filed via a company’s head office. However, if your company does operate branches in these territories it is mandatory to be registered separately to head office. This requires companies with multiple branches to have multiple registrations, each with their own independent tax identification number. The registrations are managed separately, and a tax return is required for each of them.
Country requirements are also subject to change. For example, in Austria it was previously mandatory for branches to be registered separately to their head office. This rule changed and branch registrations are no longer permitted, with all returns being filed through the FoS head office. Any existing branch registrations had to be deregistered with the Austrian tax authorities.
A domestic branch is a branch of a company whose headquarters are located in a different country to where the branch is domiciled, and where the registration is required. For example, your head office could be in Germany, you write insurance business liable to IPT in Italy and you have an established branch domiciled in Italy – the Italian branch will be considered as your domestic branch.
If your company has branches and wishes to register for IPT in the country where your branch is domiciled, some tax authorities insist the domestic branch has a separate registration to its head office. This applies in Hungary, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain.
In some instances, domestic branches will have different tax points to those operating under FoS.
If a branch or head office operating in the territory is operating noncompliantly, this will directly impact all parts of the business operating in the territory, and the fines will be levied accordingly.
Want to learn more about branches and IPT registration? Speak to Sovos’ tax experts today.
Continuing our IPT prepayment series, we take a look at Italy’s requirements. In previous articles we have looked at Belgium, Austria, and Hungary.
All insurers authorised to write business under the Italian regime have a legal obligation to make an advance annual payment for the following year.
The amount of prepayment is calculated as a percentage of the total IPT and Anti-Racket contribution made in the previous year, deducting any IPT paid in respect of Motor Third-Party Liability business. The IPT prepayment rates increased from 85% for tax year 2020 to 90% for 2021 and 100% for tax year 2022 onwards.
All insurers writing non-life insurance risks in Italy need to pay 100% of their 2021 tax bill in November 2022 as a 2023 prepayment, in anticipation of their future tax liabilities. Once settled, the prepayment can be offset against IPT liabilities (excluding Motor third-party liabilities) arising from February 2023, when the January 2023 tax liabilities are due. Businesses can use excess prepayment to offset tax liabilities in the next period or offset against the next prepayment.
Prepayment is due by 16 November each year. No prepayment is required if the insurance company deregistered for IPT purposes prior to the prepayment deadline. Penalties and interest for late payments are strictly applied by the Italian tax authorities. They are time sensitive and calculated daily and payable alongside tax liabilities/prepayments.
Where the prepayment for the year is not fully utilised, balances can be carried forward to offset against future liabilities or used towards next year’s prepayments. If a company is no longer writing business in Italy and doesn’t expect further premiums to be received, they should formally file for a reclaim of any prepayment credits. Recovery is made through a formal reclaim and takes significant time (a few years) for the authorities to process and return the funds.
Although prepayment shouldn’t represent an additional cost to insurance transactions, it can pose some cash flow considerations for insurers. It’s Important to note prepayment is due on a historical basis and cannot be settled based on an estimate of future tax liabilities. The legal obligation to pay the prepayment doesn’t cease, even if the insurance company foresees termination of their insurance risks in Italy. This creates issues for insurance companies winding down their Italian exposures, starting underwriting Italian risks through EU based subsidiaries, or when closing the business.
Most UK insurers changed their company structure due to Brexit. A special application for transferring the prepayment credit needs to be made to the Italian tax authorities for mergers or portfolio transfers and a response or approval from the tax office can take significant time.
When an insurer is exiting Italy, be it due to Brexit or any other reason, being aware of their current and ongoing prepayment obligations is key to minimising unnecessary pain in the future.
Get in touch with our tax experts today for advice on how to navigate this often confusing IPT procedure in Italy.
It’s time to return to Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) prepayments – a continuation of our blog series on this important IPT topic. You can find the first entry in our blog series here.
IPT is declared and settled differently throughout Europe. Monthly, quarterly, or biannual declarations – the frequency varies across Member States – and some jurisdictions request prepayments to ensure the liabilities due from insurance companies are collected in good stead.
Hungary is one country where legislation states prepayments are required. However, the prepayment obligation is a new requirement, introduced alongside the so called ‘extra profit tax’ or supplemental IPT, which is payable on an annual basis. No prepayment is required in relation to the ‘normal’ insurance premium tax paid monthly.
Prepayments are defined as a tax payment credit made to a tax authority before the payment is actually incurred.
This prepayment tax will be deducted to cover the tax liabilities until the total credit is used, then current liabilities must be paid by the basis applied in each “jurisdiction“.
You can learn more about IPT prepayments in our blog.
Before the introduction of extra profit tax, or supplemental IPT, prepayment for IPT in Hungary wasn’t a requirement. The ‘normal’ IPT is paid monthly with no prepayment obligation and there is no need to submit an annual return.
In Hungary the prepayment concept is used for taxes where there is an annual declaration obligation, such as in the case of corporation tax.
Regarding IPT, the prepayment obligation was introduced with the extra profit tax regime. Extra profit tax or supplemental IPT is an annual tax. This might be the reason for the introduction of the prepayment obligation for this tax type.
Supplemental IPT prepayment is due on 30 November 2022 regarding 2022 (bi)annual supplemental IPT, while for 2023 the prepayment is due by 31 May 2023.
Based on the original concept, the basis of the prepayment for 2022 was the premium collected during the period between July 2021 and June 2022, applying the rates applicable for 2022. However, this was modified shortly after the issuance of the Government Decree of 197/2022 on extra profit taxes.
This adjustment most likely occurred as the original concept would have generated a substantial overpayment since the base period to calculate 2022 prepayment is one year and the supplemental tax is due only for the second half of 2022. According to the updated rules the basis of the 2022 prepayment remained the same but the applicable rates were changed from 2022 rates to the rates normally applicable for 2023. The 2023 rates are half of the 2022 rates, decreasing the prepayment amount by reducing the rate instead of changing the base period from one year to half year.
Regarding 2023, the calculation of the prepayment is equal to the supplemental tax paid for 2022 in January 2023.
The tax office confirmed that any overpayment regarding the extra profit tax/supplemental IPT can be offset against the ’normal’ IPT and vice versa. This is because the extra profit tax has the same tax code (number 200) and is payable to the same bank account as the IPT.
For example, if the prepayment for 2022 is higher than the 2022 extra profit tax there will be an overpayment on the 200 tax account at the end of January. This overpayment can be offset against the January 2023 IPT liabilities which are payable by 20 February 2023. Or if the insurance company has an IPT overpayment at the end of November 2022, this overpayment can be used to cover the extra profit tax/supplemental IPT prepayment obligation.
Get in touch with our tax experts today for advice on how to navigate this often confusing IPT procedure.
In the next edition of our series of blogs in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) prepayments, we look at a less familiar regime to many, the Austrian IPT Prepayment.
Those who are well versed in the IPT sphere will be perplexed at this blog, as they most likely will never have paid a prepayment in Austria.
This is because the prepayment is only due in the event of the November tax period being paid late. Due to the elongated deadline of Austrian IPT and Fire Brigade Tax (FBT) this rarely happens in practice. As a reminder, the tax payment in Austria must be made by the 15th day (due date) of the second consecutive month (i.e January 2022 period due 15 March 2022).
But what if the November deadline isn’t paid in full by the 15 December? A special advance payment of 1/12 of the sum of the calculated tax amounts of the last 12 tax return periods must be made. This special advance payment is credited against a subsequent self-calculation for the declaration period of November.
With respect to IPT, FBT and Vehicle Insurance Tax (VIT), the rules are as follows:
Insurers should be aware that whilst tax payments are paid monthly, the return is due on an annual basis, the deadline being 30 April. The return(s) includes the tax ID, name of the insurer, tax amount on a per month basis, and the amount paid in tax for the year in question thus far.
For FBT liabilities the amount is split evenly between the insured and the insurer. So, for a risk with 100% fire portion and €100.00 premium, in addition to the €11.00 IPT amount the insured would also pay €4.00 FBT. The remaining €4.00 of FBT would be from the insurer.
From an exemptions perspective there is quite an exhaustive list in Austria. Some of which are export credit, cross-border cargo, reinsurance, and livestock (If the insured amount doesn’t exceed €3.650, as well as insurance of livestock with a small livestock insurance association).
Keeping abreast of changes in IPT compliance requirements in Austria and across the EU can be challenging. Our team of experts can guide you through the details and ensure you are on the right compliance path.
Meet the Expert is our series of blogs where we share more about the team behind our innovative software and insurance premium tax (IPT) compliance services.
As a global organisation with indirect tax experts across all regions, our dedicated team are often the first to know about regulatory changes and developments in global tax regimes, to support you in your tax compliance.
We spoke with Mai Nguyen, senior compliance services representative who explained why it’s so important for insurers to get IPT filing right and shared her top three tips for submitting IPT liabilities.
I’m a senior compliance services representative – specialising in IPT at Sovos. I joined the company over four years ago and I deal with a diverse portfolio of 30+ clients, helping them with the entire cycle of IPT submission.
My team reviews data provided by our clients, creates a summary of tax due and confirms IPT and parafiscal liabilities due for a specific period. My day-to-day tasks include approving the IPT liabilities to be declared correctly and compliantly and authorising payments to be made on behalf of our clients.
My role is to oversee the day-to-day operational management whilst ensuring all compliance requirements are met consistently. I also work closely with clients to answering their queries to ensure their IPT submissions meet the strict regulations set by global tax offices.
The IPT filing process varies from one territory to another and it’s crucial for insurers to follow it accurately and compliantly. There are many elements that need to be considered in this process:
IPT filings can be made online in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Finland and Germany. This filing method is becoming a common trend and is likely to be introduced in other jurisdictions.
In Portugal a data file must be uploaded to a web portal which requires detailed information for each policy such as NIF number (policyholder Tax ID), postcode, country code and territoriality.
In Spain the IPT portal determines the declaration period for each transaction, tax payment or any interest payment due. The portal links the payments due directly to the bank account, meaning the payment is made by direct debit.
IPT filings can be made by post or in person. With any method, it’s important to make sure that deadlines are met to avoid unnecessary penalties.
The consequence of noncompliance is not only the penalty or interest regimes imposed by tax offices but also the indirect costs to insurers which are more significant. These can include the cost for correcting the mistake, as well as additional associate or representative costs. Noncompliance could also have an adverse impact on the insurer’s reputation.
To avoid the unnecessary consequence of noncompliance when submitting IPT liabilities, here are my three top tips:
It can be very challenging for insurers to ensure that IPT is declared accurately and compliantly while adhering to the latest rules and regulations. Here at Sovos, our dedicated IPT Compliance Services team is equipped with in-depth expertise and the most up-to-date changes to help insurers meet all IPT requirements to make submissions efficient and compliant.
All IPT compliance information can be found through Sovos’ blogs, webinars, tax alerts, LinkedIn, Twitter and newsletters.
Have questions about IPT compliance? Speak to our tax experts or download our e-book, Indirect Tax Rules for Insurance Across the World.
It’s time to return to Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) prepayments – a continuation of our blog series on this important IPT topic. You can find the first entry in our blog series here.
Throughout Europe’s different countries and jurisdictions, IPT is declared and settled in different ways. Monthly, quarterly, biannually – this varies across Member States – and some jurisdictions request prepayments to ensure the liabilities due from insurance companies are collected in good stead.
Belgium is one country that states within its legislation that IPT prepayments are required.
You can learn more about IPT prepayments in this blog however for those who missed our coverage on the topic, prepayments can be defined as a tax payment credit made to a tax authority before the payment is actually incurred.
This prepayment tax will be deducted to cover the tax liabilities until the total credit is used up and then current liabilities must be paid by the basis applied in each jurisdiction.
Each jurisdiction uses a different method to apply prepayments and we explain how this is legislated in Belgium.
The prepayment is due no later than 15 December each year. The tax base for the prepayment will be the amount paid in November of the current year, that is based on the tax liabilities of the October period.
It’s important to follow the state on the Belgium tax law in order to pay and submit the return within the deadline because when the tax hasn’t been paid within the deadlines set out previously, penalties will automatically be due to the Belgium tax authority from the day the payment should have been made.
The previous prepayment will be deducted during the next tax period (December, January, February and March) correspondingly submitted in January, February, March and April.
What happens if an insurance company paid the prepayment but during the three first months, the insurance company has not used that credit, perhaps because no policies were subscribed and therefore no submission or payment was due?
In these cases, the entire, or part of the prepayment is still pending to be deducted and a formal reclaim should be requested to the tax authority in order to obtain the unused prepayment.
Although this appears to be a simple process, not following the rules or not processing the returns, payments, or refunds within the correct deadlines can see the insurance company receive penalties or obtaining the refund for the unused prepayment could be prevented.
Speak to our team today for advice on how to navigate this often confusing tax procedure.
The Dutch government issued an updated Policy Statement for Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) on 12 May 2022. The first of its kind since February 2017, the update is intended to replace the 2017 version in full. Whilst much of the content remained the same, there were some notable points relating to storage insurance and what it terms ‘own transport’ insurance. These changes will be effective from 13 May 2023.
The change extends the scope of storage insurance that can still be regarded as goods in transit insurance, increasing from storage of up to one month to three months. It may even be possible to show goods in transit insurance applies for storage greater than three months, but the onus is on the insurer to prove an absolutely necessary connection between storage and transport.
It’s general market practice in the EU to consider storage of up to 60 days as being part of the goods in transit coverage, making the Dutch approach more flexible in this regard. Any goods stored beyond the 60 days are treated as a property risk, taxable where the goods are located and not where the policyholder has their establishment.
It’s useful to consider this change from the perspective of both IPT rate application and location of risk. In terms of the former, the IPT exemption applicable to all goods in transit insurance in the Netherlands widens this exemption to policies involving longer periods of storage.
Regarding location of risk, the relevant provisions in EU Directive 2009/138/EC determine that in the case of goods in commercial transit risks, the risk location (and therefore the country entitled to levy IPT and/or associated levies) is the policyholder’s establishment to which the contract relates. Where storage insurance does not constitute goods in commercial transit, the risk location is the location of the property itself.
As a result, goods stored in the Netherlands for more than three months as part of a transport policy will generally be taxable there, even where the policyholder’s establishment is elsewhere. Whereas goods stored in the Netherlands for less than three months will not be taxable in the country (unless the policyholder’s establishment is also in the Netherlands).
The other key takeaway from the Policy Statement was on the subject of ‘own transport’. This is defined as transport ‘where no transport company is contracted, but commercial transport is involved’, confirming the exemption for transport insurance is equally applicable to scenarios where companies arrange for the transportation of commercial goods for their own benefit. As such, the exemption is not restricted to third-party contractors utilised for the transport.
The Policy Statement also states the exemption applies to:
However, the exemption does not apply to insurance of own goods which, although transported are not for the sole purpose of transferring it to another place of destination. This could include the tools of a contractor that are stored in his delivery van.
The changes outlined above are relatively minor given they relate solely to goods in transit business. One more fundamental change that had been mooted as a possibility was for the Netherlands to introduce stricter rules on the application of IPT to non-EEA risks, as we saw in Germany at the end of 2020.
The scope of the changes in Germany caused considerable confusion in the market at the time so it’s possible the Dutch government has put any potential plans on hold for now. This will be an interesting issue to monitor as countries seek out alternative ways to generate tax income.
Want to understand more about how these changes affect your business? Get in touch with our team of experts to see how Sovos can help ease your IPT compliance burden.
There are some countries across Europe where declaring and settling insurance premium tax (IPT) and parafiscal charges on time is not enough to prevent late payment penalties. You may ask why. Or you may say it’s unfair. The answer is simple.
Some European countries collect insurance premium tax and parafiscal charges or part of them in advance before they become due for payment. We call these prepayments, advance payments or provisional payments. And missing the deadline for the prepayment can be penalised by the tax offices.
This blog will give you an overview of how prepayment regimes work. At the end of this blog, we’ll list the countries where prepayment rules are in place without detailed requirements. In later blog posts, we will discuss the detailed prepayment rules in these countries in depth.
Prepayment or advance payment in the taxation world is a payment that is paid before the tax is due. Therefore, when a prepayment is paid, it’s unknown how much the actual tax will be.
There are various prepayment tax calculation methods. In IPT, the most common calculation is when the prepayment amount is based on the tax amount paid for the previous reporting period. Either the same tax amount or maybe a certain percentage of this tax is required to be paid in advance. However, there are other methods used.
For example, in Poland, there is a quarterly prepayment obligation. The prepayment amount is based on the premium amounts collected in the current quarter. Another example is in Austria, where there is a unique prepayment approach. According to the regulation, you can opt not to pay the prepayment if you pay the IPT liabilities for the November period one month earlier than the standard deadline, so not by 15 January but on or before 15 December instead.
There are similarities in the legislation on how the amount of the prepayment is considered in the final tax due. In most cases, insurers can offset the prepaid tax amount against the future period`s tax obligation. But there are differences in the “how”.
For example, in Belgium, the prepayment made in December can be offset against the December liability. Also, in January and February (the Belgian Tax Offices recently added these two months), periods’ liabilities and the remaining should be reclaimed. In Italy, the prepayment made in November can be fully offset against the next year’s IPT liabilities and against the following tax years’ liabilities until it is used up entirely. Alternatively, insurers can also reclaim it from the Italian tax authority.
If we take a closer look at the calculation of the prepayment, we can conclude that it’s usually based on the tax amount of the same tax type. However, in Italy, the basis of the IPT prepayment isn’t only the paid IPT but also what has been paid for the 1% Consap parafiscal charge.
The due dates to pay prepayments vary across Europe. Some due dates fall at the end of the year, such as Austrian IPT and the Italian IPT. However, for the Italian Hunting Accident Victims’ Fund (HAVF) and Road Accident Victims’ Fund (RAVF) and the Spanish Fire Brigade Tax (FBT), the advance payment is due in January. The advance payment for the Hungarian supplemental IPT is due in November and May. On the other hand, the prepayment is due every quarter regarding the Polish Ombudsman fee.
Without pursuing completeness, here is a list of the prepayment regimes across the EU:
Contact our team of experts today for help with IPT compliance or download our e-book Indirect Tax Rules for Insurance Across the World.
Meet the Expert is our series of blogs where we share more about the team behind our innovative software and managed services.
As a global organisation with indirect tax experts across all regions, our dedicated team are often the first to know about regulatory changes and developments in global tax regimes, to support you in your tax compliance.
We spoke with Hector Fernandez, principal compliance tax services representative, who explained the complexities surrounding Spanish insurance premium tax (IPT) and how Sovos helps insurers operating in Spain.
I’m a principal compliance tax services representative at Sovos. As part of my role I work with the different teams helping them with the tax requirements of different tax authorities.
I also work with clients with IPT requirements in Spain, helping them with the many elements of tax compliance.
As mentioned in previous blogs about Spanish IPT, Spain has one of the most complex monthly and annual IPT reporting procedures. It’s challenging due to many factors such as multiple IPT tax authorities (national and provinces), additional entities to deal with including the Fire Brigade Tax (FBT) and the surcharges that must be paid to the Consorcio de Compensación de Seguro (CCS) or other bodies like Spanish Motor Insurers Bureau (OFESAUTO).
In Spain, five tax authorities charge IPT: the National Tax Authority (AEAT) and four provinces (Alava, Guipuzcoa, Navarra and Vizcaya). They are responsible for the policies in those territories. The Modelo 480 contains the same information for different tax authorities, but the formats and requirements can vary.
The annual submission coincides with the December monthly period, which means that it occurs at the same time as submitting the last monthly submission of the year and the annual report.
The Modelo 480 is a yearly overview form submitted by insurance entities that summarise monthly returns and payments. Insurers must include exempt premiums written during the year on this form because this information is not included in the monthly returns.
The data provided in this summary form will be broken down by class of business and monthly payment. While this form is purely informative, it’s vital since it helps tax authorities to find any mistakes, inconsistencies or fraud that could have been committed in the monthly submissions.
There is a compulsory annual return for those entities that subscribe to Fire and Multi-risk policies in Spain (Class 8 & 9). The report is submitted through a specific portal provided by CCS. Insurers must submit the return before the last day of April.
In this report, the different Fire or Multi-risk policies must be declared and broken down by the postcode where the risk is located and include the taxable premium of each policy.
CCS will share this information with the local bodies with competencies to calculate and charge the Fire Brigade in Spain, including councils and provincial councils or the body that helps the insurance companies to deal with this surcharge such as GESTORA (Gestora de Conciertos para la Contribución a los Servicios de Extinción de Incendios).
Those insurance companies that provide car insurance must deal with the Green card surcharge paid to OFESAUTO, the body in charge of this surcharge. Companies must provide the number of car insurance policies issued during the year, and the body will issue the invoice.
Spanish IPT complexity is based on the timing and the high amount of data that insurers must take into account to provide accurate data to the tax authority. It’s important to have software that can compile and process vast amounts of data in an accurate way.
Sovos’ team of IPT experts can help ease the burden of Spanish IPT compliance, through our managed services or consultancy offering as well as our IPT determination software.
Still have questions about Spanish IPT? Sovos can help. Contact our team of experts today or watch our webinar on The Complexity of Insurance Premium Tax in Spain.
An increasing insurance premium tax (IPT) trend is using transactional level information in various returns and reports. Preparation and education are key to ensuring details are being captured on an ongoing basis rather than at the last moment. Furthermore, in some cases where legacy systems are being utilised and don’t have the capability to capture all required fields, a software update may be required. All relevant parties in the data supply chain should educate themselves on the importance of collecting the details to avoid the often painstaking and time-consuming exercise of going back to the policyholder to collect the required information.
Many businesses initiated this trend because of the changes to the Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros (CCS) reporting system in 2019. However, this is not always the case as some countries have had transactional submission in place for some time. Two such examples would be Cyprus and Malta. For the former, Policy Number, Class of Business, Inception/Expiry Date, Premium and Tax Amount are required per policy. The same fields are required for the latter bar Inception/Expiry Dates. We rarely experience any difficulties for insurers collecting this information, as these are common fields often being collected at the source.
Whilst this may surprise some, Italy is another country where transactional level information is required to be recorded. The main difference here is that these details aren’t required for ongoing tax submissions but rather in the form of IPT books which must be regularly maintained and contain the transactional information for the preceding ten years. You can find more about the required details here.
The IPT books are mandatory for successful prepayment transfer following a Part VII portfolio transfer, general prepayment reclaims and historicals. Transactional details are also required for the Claims Report and Contract & Premium Report.
The changes in CCS submission brought the trend of transactional submission to the forefront of insurers’ thinking. A mandatory field for successful submission is the postcode, which many insurers weren’t capturing at the time. To help insurers with this change, there was a six-month transitional period where insurers could submit policies without the postcode. However, this field then became mandatory and the requirement was that the preceding six months of reports would need updating.
The introduction of the Greek Annual Report in 2019 brought another layer of complexity for insurers. The main issue was the requirement for the VAT/tax registration number to be populated. Where it was impossible to collect, insurers sometimes opted to submit incomplete reports. To date, we haven’t experienced pushback from the tax authority for omitting this detail, but we cannot guarantee this will continue to be the case.
The most recent change has been to Portuguese Stamp Duty submissions. This change brought elements of the Greek Annual Report and the CCS changes together, in the sense that the geographical area required population (Azores, Madeira, Mainland) and the tax ID of the policyholder were required. Unlike in Greece, there was no option of submitting incomplete reports; if all necessary details were not populated, the insurer couldn’t pay the tax.
The above list is by no means exhaustive but gives a good idea of the exponential complexity facing insurers for ongoing compliance. Simply put, the insurer must have agile systems to deal with any potential changes. We believe that more countries will implement transactional reports in the coming years, so it would be prudent to set up certain controls now to help prepare and ease the burden later.
As the world of IPT compliance is so fragmented across territories, keeping abreast of changes in reporting requirements can be challenging. Our team of experts can guide you through the details and ensure you’re on the right compliance path.
Need help ensuring your IPT compliance? Get in touch with Sovos’ team of experts to discover the benefits of a managed service provider.
A parafiscal tax is a levy on a service or a product which a government charges for a specific purpose. It can be used to financially benefit a particular sector (public and private).
Unlike the drastic changes in Stamp Duty reporting within the Portuguese region, the parafiscal taxes have remained consistent and unchanged for many years. Sovos helps customers report the central parafiscal taxes within the region:
The reporting of these taxes is varied and comprehensive which can become confusing for businesses unfamiliar with the requirements. The parafiscal charges, more notably INEM and ANPC, are reported on a monthly declaration structure, whilst PR and FGA are reported on a quarterly structure, and ASF is reported on a half-yearly basis.
The ANPC and INEM are reported quarterly, and premiums concerning the Azores, Continent (mainland Portugal), and Madeira must be split. This should be identified by the insurer and declared to the corresponding tax authorities.
The tax ANPC (also known as the National Authority for Civil Protection Contribution) can be applied in classes 3 – 13 and is commonly applied at 13% of the fire risk premium. However, this rate is not consistent for all classes of business and can fluctuate accordingly.
Moreover, the tax INEM (also known as the National Institute of Medical Emergency Contribution) can be applied to classes 1, 2, 3, 10 and 18 and at 2.5% of the taxable premium. The rate of 2.5% is consistent between all classes of business and reported on the compliant tax point with Portugal, which is the cash received date (much like ANPC, FGA, PR and ASF). Finally, an annual report for INEM needs to be reported directly to the tax authorities, confirming the total liabilities due throughout the fiscal year.
The reporting of FGA and PR is completed quarterly and submitted on two separate returns. The tax PR is reported at 0.21% of the premium (relating to motor insurance) for classes of business 1, 3 and 10; whilst an FGA rate of 2.5% of the premium (relating to Compulsory Third Party Liability) is only applicable to class 10.
The ASF tax is applied at a tax rate of 0.242% of the taxable premium and is calculated on all classes of business. The rate of 0.242% is confirmed annually by ministerial order within Portugal. So, the tax authority can effectively change the rate annually. It’s also important to mention that a separate rate of 0.048% applies to life insurance and is included within this return.
Need to ensure your business is fully compliant with the ever-changing IPT requirements in Portugal? Get in touch with Sovos’ tax experts.
Update: 26 January 2023 by Edit Buliczka
The Hungarian Tax Office (HUTA) released the 2023 insurance premium tax (IPT) return template last month.
According to the government decree of 465/2017, return templates must be made available at least 30 days before the due date. The first IPT return of the year is due by 20 February 2023, pertaining to the monthly IPT liabilities for January 2023.
The new IPT return template replicates the template from 2022, though the code, rates and scales for 2023 extra profit tax (EPTIPT) are different.
Coding of the tax returns in Hungary are usually formatted so that the first two digits indicate the tax year – in this case, 23 for 2023 – and the remaining digits, which are typically numbers, specify the type of tax. IPT and EPTIPT fall under the same tax code of 20. Therefore, the IPT/EPTIPT return code for 2023 is 2320.
Based on advice obtained from HUTA, it was confirmed to Sovos that the return template will not refer to the declared EPTIPT prepayment. Instead, the difference between the final EPTIPT liability and the declared EPTIPT prepayment will be recorded as an additional debt or overpayment on the HUTA tax account. As a result, insurers must manually calculate the payable EPTIPT and make their payments accordingly.
Download our free IPT compliance eBook for additional information or read our guide to Insurance Premium Tax.
Update: 30 December 2022 by Edit Buliczka
It’s been less than a month since the Hungarian Tax Office (HUTA) published instructions for insurance premium tax (IPT) for 2023 and the rules have already been amended.
The amendment is in line with the recently issued government decree (No. 582/2022) published on 24 December 2022. This alters the tax rates for 2023.
The update affects the final scale (premium collected in 2023 exceeding 36 billion Hungarian Forints) in relation to non-life and life insurance premiums.
The rates for premium amounts collected from non-life policies climbed from 7% to 12%. Rates for premium amounts collected from life policies grew from 3% to 5%.
Need more information about Hungary’s Extra Profit Tax? Speak with our Insurance Premium Tax experts.
Update: 15 December 2022 by Edit Buliczka
On 29 November 2022 the Hungarian Tax Office (HUTA) published instructions for the insurance premium tax (IPT) rules applicable for 2023 liabilities. This guidance includes the rules for extra profit tax and extra profit tax prepayment payable for 2023.
The information provided for 2022, including the section about the overpayment of the extra profit tax prepayment, is essentially repeated in this guidance. It states that reclaims are possible for any overpaid prepayment. The question is how? Even if the HUTA hasn’t released the referenced 2320 declaration form yet, if the 2320-04 additional profit tax settlement page of the return doesn’t change, the oddity we highlighted in our earlier update on 14 November 2022 still exists. The anomaly is: Is the entire declared extra profit tax payable again? Can we deduct the prepayment that was previously made? If yes, how?
Another notable piece of information in the new guidance is the date of the extra profit declaration for 2023. It states that the due date is 30 January 2024. This date is 31 January 2024 according to the government decree.
We are hoping these anomalies will be cleared before the extra profit tax for 2022 is due, that is by 31 January 2023. We are going to update this blog once new information is available.
Read our IPT compliance guide for further information.
Update: 15 November 2022 by Edit Buliczka
On 2 November 2022 the Hungarian Tax Office (HUTA) published the declaration form for settling the insurance premium extra profit tax or supplemental insurance premium tax (EPTIPT) prepayment and the extra profit tax.
In this update we will be discussing anomalies around the declaration form’s publish date, its content, and its guidance.
1. In its guidance issued to Sovos, HUTA confirmed that if an insurance company with Hungarian tax registration terminates its taxable activity in Hungary, deregistering between July 2022 and the issuance of the declaration form, the company is liable to declare its extra profit tax liabilities at the date of the deregistration. HUTA adds that since the Decree determined a final settlement deadline of 30 November for extra profit tax prepayment and 31 January 2023 for extra profit tax, the deregistering insurer can and should fulfil its obligation before these final deadlines. The compliant approach for the date of deregistration in Hungary is 15 days following the termination of the activity.
Anomaly: How it is possible to settle extra profit tax liabilities and submit a declaration (online submission is compulsory in Hungary), for example on 15 September, if the declaration form has not been published by that date?
2. According to a government decree (No. 465/2017 on the detailed rules of tax administration) the declaration forms should be published at least 30 days before the tax due dates unless there were adjustments in the regulation during this period.
Anomaly: Although both 31 October and 1 November were public holidays in Hungary in 2022, the phrase “at least” suggests the form was published before the public holidays, leaving more than 30 days for taxpayers to prepare rather than less.
1. Separate sheets were created in the declaration form for ‘normal’ or monthly insurance premium tax (IPT), the insurance premium extra profit tax prepayment and the insurance premium extra profit tax. The sheet for the settlement of extra profit tax does not include a line to deduct the amount of the prepayment.
In the guidance issued by HUTA to Sovos, it states that as the monthly insurance premium tax, the extra profit tax prepayment and the extra profit tax have the same tax code (No. 200), all payments can be automatically offset against each other.
2. Based on the guidance and as per the declaration form, corrective/substitute return should be submitted in relation to ‘normal’ IPT, extra profit tax prepayment and extra profit tax if the amount of these liabilities appears to be incorrect following the submission of the return.
The above anomalies are just examples around the extra profit tax prepayment and extra profit tax declaration. Sovos submitted queries to HUTA to clarify these anomalies. We predict some of these anomalies will be clarified soon with the issue of an adjusted declaration form and an amended guidance.
Still have questions about Hungary’s extra profit tax? Get in touch with our Insurance Premium Tax experts.
Update: 11 July 2022 by Edit Buliczka
As of 1 July 2022, Hungary introduced an Extra Profit Tax scheme, which levies supplemental Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) on insurance premiums. The introduction of the Extra Profit Tax scheme is a temporary measure and aims to cover the increased governmental costs caused by the conflict in Ukraine. The Extra Profit Tax scheme is applicable not only for the insurance sector but also for other sectors, including airlines, medical, energy, telecommunications and banking.
The following blog gives an overview of this tax, highlighting some interesting features and anomalies around this tax.
On 4 June 2022, a Government Decree was published in the Hungarian Official Gazette, numbered 197/2022, with the title “About Extra Profit Taxes”. One may wonder why a government decree regulates a new tax method. To answer this question, we need to research and read the Hungarian Constitution and another law about special measurements in case of catastrophes. Adding two new sections to the mentioned law on 25 May 2022 made it possible for the government to introduce the Extra Profit Taxes in a government decree instead of adjusting the relevant laws. The Extra Profit Tax scheme includes the Supplemental IPT. Although the Government Decree refers to particular tax laws, such as the 102/2012 IPT Law, the Extra Profit Tax regulations are not and will not be built into these tax laws.
Supplemental IPT is a temporary tax effective as of 1 July 2022 for 18 months and will end on 31 December 2023. This tax is due on non-life and life insurance policies written by both Freedom of Establishment and Freedom of Services insurers. A similar sliding scale system on the income collected is applicable for this new supplemental IPT as it is for the existing IPT. The scales for 2022 are as follows:
While for 2023, the scales are the following:
The rates vary depending on when the taxpayer collected the premium and the type of insurance policies. In 2022 the rates are higher for non-life and life insurance policies than in 2023, also noting that the life rates are half of those applied to non-life policies. For further details about the rates, please read our tax alert, Hungary: Supplemental IPT Introduced Due to Ukraine Conflict.
The declaration and the payment are due by 31 January 2023 and 31 January 2024, respectively. There is also a prepayment obligation for both years with due dates of 30 November 2022 and 31 May 2023. For further details about the prepayment, please also refer to the abovementioned tax alert.
The introduction of this tax is one of the features which is unique in taxation. In Hungary, in normal circumstances, taxes are introduced, or the existing taxes are modified via laws. Generally, tax laws should be published at least 30 days before they come into effect. In the case of the Extra Profit Tax scheme, the legislative body fulfilled none of the above.
Another interesting feature to mention is that although it is called supplemental insurance premium tax, it is also due on life insurance policies. In Hungary, there is no existing insurance premium tax on life policies as these policies are exempt.
No prepayment is due for the existing IPT, but prepayment is due to be paid for the supplemental IPT.
Supplemental IPT is a type of Extra Profit Tax, but it seems that there is no separate tax code given to it. The Supplemental IPT should be declared on the IPT declaration form and paid to the same Hungarian Tax Office account as the existing IPT.
The base period to calculate 2022 prepayment is one year, although the supplemental tax is due only for the second half of 2022. On the other hand, the prepayment for the whole 2023 year is equal to the amount of the half-yearly 2022 supplemental tax. As such, insurance companies will likely overpay the tax with the 2022 prepayment. This overpaid tax will then need to be reclaimed or can be offset against the existing IPT or used for the 2023 prepayment or 2023 supplemental IPT. Is it for purpose or just a mistake and it will be amended?
In the guidance issued by the Hungarian Tax Office on 1 July 2022 on supplemental insurance tax rules for 2022, the tax authority mentioned that taxpayers should declare the supplemental tax on the standard IPT tax declaration form, 2220. However, the tax authority did not update the form by 1 July 2022. As the due date of the prepayment and the supplemental tax differ from that of the existing IPT, there is still an open question of how the form will look to make the distinction between the existing IPT, the prepayment and the supplemental tax. Hopefully, a new return template will be published soon to answer these questions.
As explained above, there is still ambiguity and questions around this new tax. Sovos is dedicated to keeping our clients up to date and informing you as soon as the clarified information is available. Please contact our dedicated IPT compliance team if you have any questions.
Still have questions about Insurance Premium Tax? Download our IPT Guide, written by our team of IPT experts.