Reflection on Insurance Premium Tax Rate Increases – What’s Next for Europe?

Beverleigh Gunner
May 10, 2021

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when new taxes or tax rate increases will happen. Covid-19 has impacted almost everything, including a massive deficit in the economy. Many banks have applied negative interest and governments have put funding in place to aid recovery. It’s highly likely that tax authorities will be looking at ways to bring in additional funding, including Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rate increases.

Europe’s IPT rate increases

Some of the steepest increases across Europe can be recognised not as an instant from one rate to another but a gradual incline.

The Dutch IPT regime is one of the highest rates across Europe, currently at 21%. Until 2008, the IPT rate was 7% and raised in various stages, finally settling at 21% in 2013. An increase of 14% in a five-year period!

Why the sudden rate increase? Was it because the Dutch tax authorities realised theirs was one of the lowest rates in Europe? Was it due to the economic climate at the time to gain extra revenue? Or was it because tax authorities were beginning to realise IPT was becoming a more recognised tax?

The Netherland’s isn’t the only country to have experienced a dramatic IPT rate increase over a short period of time.

HMRC, the UK tax authority, has also taken the opportunity to implement more rigorous increases, especially with their standard rate. In 2011, the rate increased to 6%, increasing at various intervals until stabilising at 12% in 2017. The rate doubled in a five-year period!

The similarity between the two territories and the way they have increased their rates is uncanny. The five-year structure of rate changes either by 1 or 2%, ultimately reaching much higher rates than initially expected in the market. Looking back at the economy during the time of the increase, Europe was beginning to recover from a recession that hit most territories hard with rising interest rates on loans and mortgages and increased unemployment.

There are changes in the market now that could influence IPT rates. Many insurance companies have increased the scope of insurances offered. Classes of business are more varied and premiums quoted are higher. Emphasis is on ensuring the invoicing is correct with the insurer versus carefully considering insured taxes.

What’s Next?

Many territories now require more granular detail for submissions. Will this trigger more audits? Will it cause more tax authorities to analyse this information to enforce their penalty regimes? Or will there be a number of rate increases across the board? Increases could begin at 1 or 2% and follow the trend of five years as set out above. Either way, there is a financial gap which will need to be filled.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the latest Insurance Premium Tax rate updates to see how tax authorities respond to this current economic climate.

Take Action

Get in touch about the benefits a managed service provider can offer to ease your IPT compliance burden.

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.


Beverleigh Gunner

As a Compliance Services Manager, Beverleigh leads the General Insurers Managed Service team. Part of her role is ensuring that the ongoing compliance for over 140 clients is met with various tax authorities. Beverleigh has a depth of IPT and insurance experience having worked at Sovos in a number of roles since 2007.
Share This Post

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 29, 2021
Norway 2022 Digital VAT Return: What Businesses Need to Know

Norway announced its intentions to introduce a new digital VAT return in late 2020, with an intended launch date of 1 January 2022. Since then, businesses have wondered what this change would mean for them and how IT teams would need to prepare systems to meet this new requirement. Norway has since provided ample guidance […]

EMEA Latin America North America VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 25, 2021
How SAP S/4HANA Finance can Simplify Tax for Your Organization

Sovos recently sponsored a benchmark report with SAP Insider to better understand how SAP customers are adapting their strategies and technology investments to evolve their finance and accounting organizations. This blog hits on some of the key points covered in the report and offers some direct responses made by survey respondents, as well as conclusions […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 20, 2021
Post-Brexit VAT Compliance: Your Questions Answered

Six months after Brexit there’s still plenty of confusion. Our VAT Managed Services and Consultancy teams continue to get lots of questions. So here are answers to some of the more common VAT compliance concerns post-Brexit. How does postponed VAT accounting work? Since Brexit, the UK has changed the way import VAT is accounted for. […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 17, 2021
Poland VAT Reporting: Draft Amendments to JPK_V7M/V7K Published

In Poland, the Ministry of Finance proposed several changes to the country’s mandatory JPK_V7M/V7K reports. These will take effect on 1 July 2021. The amendments offer administrative relief to taxpayers in some areas but create potential new hurdles elsewhere. Poland JPK_V7M and V7K Reports The JPK_V7M/V7K reports – Poland’s attempt to merge the summary reporting […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
June 16, 2021
VAT Trends: A Shift Toward Destination Taxability for Certain Cross-Border Transactions

As detailed within our annual report VAT Trends: Toward Continuous Transaction Controls, there’s an increasing shift toward destination taxability which applies to certain cross-border trades. In the old world of paper-based trade and commerce, the enforcement of tax borders, between or within countries, was mostly a matter of physical customs controls. To ease trade and […]