HMRC internal manual

Insurance Policyholder Taxation Manual

IPTM3730 - Foreign policies: reduction for non-UK policyholder

The rules on this page applied prior to 6 April 2013. IPTM3731 explains the changes to these rules from 6 April 2013.

The gain from a foreign policy of life insurance or foreign capital redemption policy is reduced if the policyholder was not UK resident throughout the policy period. This is often referred to as a ‘time apportioned reduction’.

Prior to 6 April 2013, the gain is reduced by an appropriate fraction, equal to A/B, where:

  • A is the number of days on which the policyholder was not UK resident in the policy period
  • B is the total number of days in the policy period.

Policy period means the number of days the policy has run before the chargeable event occurs.

If the gain is under a policy which is a ‘new policy’ under the substituted policy rules at ICTA88/SCH15/PARA17 - see IPTM8120 onwards, the policy period includes the old policy and any predecessor of that policy under a similar application of the rule.

The reduction does not apply to a policy held by

  • non-UK resident trustees unless it was held by them on 19 March 1985
  • a foreign institution unless it was held by it on 16 March 1998.

Foreign institution is defined at IPTM3260. Where a gain under such a policy is reported on a chargeable event certificate, the full gain will be shown on the policy. If an apportionment for periods of non-residence is due, the taxable person must calculate the apportioned gain and enter it on the tax return.



  • Michael takes out a life policy on 17 March 1997 from an insurer based in Jersey whilst working in Germany.
  • He returns to the UK on 20 April 2001 and is UK resident from that date.
  • He fully surrenders the policy on 5 October 2005, giving rise to a chargeable event gain of £10,750.

Tax treatment

  • The policy is a ‘foreign policy’ within the definition in IPTM3330 so an apportionment of the gain applies. There must also be a restriction in the number of years for top slicing relief – see IPTM3830. For further information on top slicing relief, see IPTM3820 onwards.
  • The policy ran for a total of 3,125 days, including the days on which it was made and surrendered. Michael was not resident in the UK for 1,495 days of this period.
  • Michael is due a reduction in the gain of £10,750 x (1,495/3,125) = £5,143. Thus he is liable on a gain of £5,607, which is the figure that should be entered on his tax return for the 2005-06 tax year.
  • Top slicing relief on gains made before 6 April 2013 is given by reference to a number ‘N’. N is the number of complete years from the issue of the policy less the number of complete years in which the policyholder was not resident in the UK. N is then used to calculate the top slicing relief. See IPTM3840.
  • The policy ran for 8 complete years. Michael was non-resident for 4 complete years so the number of years for top slicing relief to be entered on the tax return must be reduced to the 4 in which he was UK resident.