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HMRC internal manual

Insurance Policyholder Taxation Manual

Certificate for HMRC: ‘care of’ addresses, change of addresses and ‘gone away’ cases

Use of ‘care of’ or other addresses

The purpose of requiring the insurer to report the policyholder’s address is toenable HMRC to trace the policyholder and match the gain to the taxpayer. HMRC is entitledto be told the present private address of the policyholder and does not accept that theuse of a ‘care of’ address would meet the insurer’s statutory duty save inexceptional circumstances. Two exceptions which have been agreed in the past are the useof the parents’ address for students and the use of the address held on centralrecords for industrial branch business.

A case which is not an exception is where there are personal representatives dealing withthe estate of the deceased and a gain arose on the death of the policyholder. Then theinsurer should report the private address of the deceased, not the correspondence addressof any personal representatives.

Where an insurer feels it has no alternative but to report a ‘care of’ addressHMRC would expect the insurer to provide some justification and to have made someenquiries before putting that address on the certificate. These points would be taken intoaccount by HMRC in considering whether or not penalties are due for the failure to providean address. Such cases are likely to be rare.

Change of address between date of event and date of issuing certificate

Strictly, the address to be shown on the certificate to be sent to HMRC is the addresswhich applied at the date of the chargeable event. However, if the insurer knew that thepolicyholder’s address had subsequently changed, HMRC would have no objections to theinsurer reporting the latest address instead.

‘Gone away’ cases

Clearly, the current private address of the policyholder should be entered on thecertificate for HMRC where known. However, there may be exceptional cases where theinsurer knows that the private address of the policyholder which it holds is out of dateand it is unable to establish a current address. Then, the insurer should report the lastknown address on the certificate rather than fail to comply with the requirement to reportthe address or submit the certificate. That information may enable HMRC to trace thetaxpayer even if the insurer is unable to do so.

Further reference and feedback IPTM1013