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.
Storage insurance in the Netherlands
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).
‘Own Transport’ insurance
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:
- The transport of commercial goods that originate from or are intended for the own company that are transported by the company itself and for its own account.
- The carriage of own goods that are transported to stay at the place of destination. This may include a business asset such as a crane that is transported to the construction site for subsequent deployment during construction, but also to a work of art exhibited in a studio.
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.
Is further change possible?
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.