Overseas insurers: introduction to the reporting rules
In most circumstances, information about chargeable events on life insurance policies, capital redemption policies and life annuity contracts with an overseas insurer must be provided to policyholders and HMRC in broadly similar fashion to information provided by UK insurers. The information may be provided directly by the overseas insurer or by a UK tax representative of the insurer appointed either by the insurer or by HMRC.
IPTM9020 onwards explains the reporting regime that applies to overseas insurers, including the circumstances in which an overseas insurer is required to appoint a tax representative in the UK and the circumstances in which it may be released from this requirement. The legislation relating to tax representatives is the Overseas Insurers (Tax Representatives) Regulations 1999, SI1999/881 (or ‘Tax Representative Regulations’ for short).
The information that must be provided is similar to that required from UK insurers but not identical, notably for policies made before 6 April 2000 where the insurer has been released from the requirement to appoint a tax representative.
Chargeable event rules
Much of the material in Chapter 7 - IPTM7000 onwards - is also relevant to overseas insurers since the range of chargeable events that can arise on an overseas policy, and the method of calculating chargeable event gains, is the same as for policies from UK insurers. Where appropriate, cross-references to that material will be given in IPTM9020 onwards.
For accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2008, the chargeable event gain rules no longer apply to investment life policies, purchased life annuity contracts and capital redemption policies owned by companies and instead they are taxed under the loan relationship rules - see IPTM3900 onwards.
Where the policyholder is a company the insurer is not required to issue it, or HMRC, with a chargeable event certificate unless it has information to suggest that the taxable person is different from the policyholder and is not a company. However the insurer will not be penalised for continuing to issue certificates where, for instance, it is not easy to distinguish on its systems company policyholders from other policyholders.
The guidance in IPTM9020 onwards is based largely on the existing Tax Representatives for Overseas Life Insurers: Guidance Notes for Insurers and Practitioners, which can now be regarded as superseded by IPTM.
CT&VAT (Technical) Insurance Group administers the reporting regime for overseas insurers.
Details of chargeable events and gains, nominations of tax representatives and other applications under the reporting regime should be sent to the Insurance Group at
BAI Financial Services Team, 4th Floor Meldrum House, 15 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, EH3 7UQ
Further reference and feedback IPTM1013