Problems encountered with Fire Brigade Tax rate increase in Slovenia

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.

Slovenia’s new tax return

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.

Telephone number information on tax return

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.

Conflicting information about Slovenia’s new Fire Brigade Tax return

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.

Next steps with Slovenia’s new tax return

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.

Need help with Fire Brigade Tax requirements in Slovenia?

Want to ensure compliance with the latest Fire Brigade Tax requirements? Speak to our experts.

Update: 30 December 2022 by Edit Buliczka

Hungary: Increased insurance Extra Profit Tax 2023 rates

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

Hungarian Tax Office publishes extra profit tax and prepayment rules for 2023

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

Hungary: anomalies around insurance premium extra profit tax

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.

Facts about insurance premium extra profit tax in Hungary:

The publish date of the extra profit tax declaration form

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.

Extra profit tax declaration form and guidance

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.

Anomalies:

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.

Anomalies

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.

What is Hungary’s Supplemental IPT?

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.

Overview of the Supplemental IPT

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:

  1. Under 1 billion Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  2. Over 1 billion and below 18 billion HUF
  3. Over 18 billion HUF

While for 2023, the scales are the following:

  1. Under 2 billion HUF
  2. Over 2 billion and below 36 billion HUF
  3. Over 36 billion HUF

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.

Interesting features about the Supplemental IPT

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.

Anomalies and open questions around Supplemental 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.

Take Action

Still have questions about Insurance Premium Tax? Download our IPT Guide, written by our team of IPT experts.

Currently, Poland doesn’t have an Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). Instead, there is a parafiscal tax called Insurance Ombudsman Contribution (IOC). It is currently charged at a rate of 0.02% and was effective from 1 January 2020 for all insurance companies operating under Freedom of Services (FOS) in Poland.

IOC applies to all 18 classes of non-life insurance. It is applicable to all insurance companies either selling insurance in Poland or collecting premiums from Polish persons. Prior to its origination date of 1 February 2014, it only applied to domestic insurers or foreign insurers with Polish branches.

The basis for IOC is the premium that must be paid to the insurer to obtain the insurance cover.

Insurance Ombudsman Contribution Reporting

Reporting for IOC can be tricky because of the different name and numbering system for quarterly declarations. For Example: Quarter I (Quarter 1) of the current year covers October, November and December of the previous year. The quarterly submission is due 90 days from the reporting period. In this example, Q1’s declaration must be filed by 31 March of the current year.

All the payments made throughout the year are considered prepayments or advance payments. For instance, the liabilities that arose in Q1 2021 are declared in the Q2 2021 tax period as an advanced payment for Q2 2021.

The Annual Report is due by 30 June of the following year. This report is submitted to the Insurance Ombudsman summarising the actual premiums received in the previous year (i.e., for 2020, a report is submitted by 30 June 2021 summarising the total amount of premiums received by the insurer in 2020).

The Insurance Ombudsman then determines its funding requirements, and an adjustment is made based on the difference between the insurer’s share of the market percentage multiplied by the funding requirements and the previously made payments for the reporting year.

The Ombudsman’s adjustment may result in the tax authorities requiring additional funds or providing a refund. Either result is communicated by the authorities through Annual Settlement Letters that usually arrive by the end of October.

Insurers are obligated to keep records of insurance contracts and the documents required for tax declaration for five years from the contract’s expiry date.

If the taxpayer doesn’t declare and remit the tax in accordance with the regulations, the relevant authority may demand delayed interest and require an assessment of the tax. In such cases, the court can award a penalty fee and/or imprisonment of the company’s management for up to three years, as per the fiscal penalty code from 10 September 1999.

For any insurance company operating under FOS in Poland, understanding the details of the Insurance Ombudsman Contribution and the reporting requirements are key to ensuring compliance.

Take Action

Need help to ensure your business stays compliant with current and upcoming changes to IOC? Contact the Sovos team today.

The introduction of the new Portuguese Stamp Duty system has arguably been one of the most extensive changes within IPT reporting in 2021 even though the latest reporting system wasn’t accompanied by any changes to the tax rate structure.

The new reporting requirements were initially scheduled to start with January 2020 returns. However this was postponed until April 2020 and once again until January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does this affect reporting?

In addition to the information currently requested, mandatory information required for successful submission of the returns now includes:

Lessons learned and how Sovos helps you adapt

Our reporting systems have evolved to help customers meet these new requirements.

For example, our technical department have built a formula that confirms a valid ID to ease data validation and reporting. Consequently, a sense check was built within our systems to determine whether an ID is valid.

With the recent change in the treatment of negative Stamp Duty lines, we’ve also changed our calculations to account for two contrasting methods of treating negatives within our systems.

Previously, both the Portuguese Stamp Duty and parafiscal authorities held identical requirements for the submission of negative lines. However, the introduction of the more complex Stamp Duty reporting system called for amendments to the initial declaration of the policy.

Understandably, this new requirement is a more judicious approach towards tax reporting and will likely be introduced within more tax systems in the future.

Looking ahead

As with any new reporting system, changes within your monthly procedures are necessary. Our IPT compliance processes and software are updated as and when regulatory changes occur providing peace of mind for our customers.

And with each new reporting system, we learn more and more about how tax authorities around the world are trying to enter the digital age with more streamlined practices, knowledge and insight to increase efficiency and close the tax gap.

Take Action

Contact our experts for help with your Portugal Stamp Duty reporting requirements.