Treatment of fire charges is tricky in almost all jurisdictions. Fire coverage can vary from as high as 100% to 20%.
No-one would dispute that the most complex fire charge treatment is in Spain. In Portugal, whilst the rules are less complex, they have a unique reporting system for how the policies covering fire must be reported.
How Portuguese Fire Brigade Tax reporting is unique
The Portuguese Fire Brigade Tax (FBT), otherwise known as National Authority for Civil Protection Fire Brigade Charge or ANPC (Autoridade Nacional de Proteção Civil), is due on certain policies covering fire risks. Such policies can be mapped as Class 3-13.
The tax rate is 13%, but usually the fire coverage is set at 30%, so the applied rate is only 3.9%. As per market practice, if the fire proportion is not separately identified in the policy, then 30% fire proportion is assumed. ANPC is settled to the ASF (Autoridade de Supervisão de Seguros e Fundos de Pensões), the body that administrates parafiscal taxes in Portugal, on a monthly basis together with the other parafiscal taxes such as INEM (medical emergencies). There is currently no speciality in the regulation.
The unique feature of the Portuguese fire tax is the five yearly reporting requirement. This five yearly report was last due in 2016 and will be due again in 2021. The report requires insurers to prepare a summary which lists total ANPC or Fire taxes paid in respect of the year when it’s due. So although the report itself is due every five years, the reportable policies are limited only to the policies subject to ANPC in that reporting year.
Another unique feature of this reporting is that although all insurers are subject to settle ANPC liabilities monthly, not all insurers are necessarily obliged to submit this report. ASF informs the insurance companies who are required to submit this report.
How to report Portugal’s Fire Brigade Tax
Reporting is biannual. In 2016 the first semester data (01-01-2016 to 30-06-2016) was due to be reported by 31 August 2016 and the second semester data (01-07-2016 to 31-12-2016) was due by 28 February 2017.
In 2016, when this report was last due, ASF issued an official circular about the reporting requirements. A template has been published to provide help for insurance companies to fulfil their obligations.
In 2016 the report requested a total of the ANPC charges per county and per district. That included more than 300 districts. As yet, we’ve not seen a circular about the requirements for 2021, so we’re in contact with ASF to find out if the report is still due and if yes, the requirements and when the notifications will be sent to the insurance companies.
We hope the complexity of this reporting hasn’t been further increased by the ASF. This unique reporting is time consuming for insurance companies and looking at the global trends in reporting requirements we expect the FBT report will still be due this year.