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HMRC internal manual

General Insurance Manual


Work on the taxation of insurance companies is concentrated in the Large Business Service (LBS) offices in London and Edinburgh and Scotland South area office. The General Insurance Manual (GIM) is intended for use by officers in the LBS and elsewhere in HMRC who deal with or are interested in direct tax issues involving general insurance. It is written primarily for HMRC staff but it will also assist customers and their advisers.

The manual gives an overview of the trade of general insurance, explains the accounting and regulatory framework within which general insurers operate, and gives guidance on the taxation of general insurers, including the treatment of the investment return, technical provisions and equalisation reserves. There are separate sections on reinsurance, mutual insurance, and on international aspects of general insurance - the taxation of non-resident insurers operating in the UK, captive insurers, and double taxation relief.

The manual is concerned only with general insurance business as defined for regulatory purposes. It does not cover:

  • the taxation of life insurance or other long-term business, including the results of permanent health insurance (PHI) and pre-1938 capital redemption business (which are covered in the Life Assurance Manual)
  • the taxation of Lloyd’s underwriters (which is covered by the Lloyd’s Manual)
  • the taxation of insurance policyholders, including ‘chargeable events’, sickness and unemployment insurance policies, and immediate needs annuities (which are covered in the Insurance Policyholder Taxation Manual)
  • Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) or Value Added Tax (VAT) (which are covered in HMRC Guides and Business Briefs on IPT and VAT).


Please send any feedback on this Manual to Dave Moran at CT&VAT (Technical) Financial Services Group, Mailstation E, 3rd floor, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ.


Where specialist guidance is necessary, or where there are unusual features in the accounts or computations of general insurers, reports should be made to CT&VAT (Technical) Insurance Group.