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HMRC internal manual

Insurance Policyholder Taxation Manual

Overseas insurers: release from requirement to appoint a tax representative: procedure for agreeing to provide certain information directly

Application for release from requirement to appoint a tax representative

An overseas insurer may apply to HMRC to be released from the requirement to appoint a tax representative by giving undertakings that it will supply certain information about chargeable events to policyholders and HMRC directly, rather than through a tax representative.

The insurer must undertake to provide the information to policyholders and HMRC specified in Parts 2 and 3 of the Schedule to SI1999/881, not that specified under the general rules in ICTA88/S552. The information required depends on when the policy or contract was made.

If the undertakings given by the insurer do not meet the requirements in full then HMRC will not agree to the release of the insurer from appointing a tax representative.

Applications for releases should be sent to HMRC at the contact address given in IPTM9010.

Form of words of the undertaking

In order to be released, the insurer must give the undertakings required by regulation 12(1)(c) of the Tax Representative Regulations. The simplest way for an overseas insurer to give these undertakings in its application for release is by using the form of words at IPTM9240.

Otherwise the application must state that the insurance company undertakes to provide all the information required by the Schedule to the regulations within the time limits specified in the regulations.

In either situation, the undertakings must be signed by the company secretary, or other officer authorised to act on behalf of the company.

Information that the insurer must undertake to provide

If the policy or contract was made after 5 April 2000 then the information to be provided is largely the same as under ICTA88/S552, the main difference being that gains on assignments should be reported - see IPTM9150 to IPTM9170.

If the policy or contract was made before 6 April 2000 then the information that the insurer must provide is more limited - see IPTM9180 and IPTM9190.

Monitoring of arrangements and HMRC’s power to withdraw from a release agreement

HMRC monitor whether overseas insurers comply with the undertakings that they have given under agreements to release them from the requirement to have a tax representative.

HMRC has the power to withdraw from such agreements. It would consider doing so if there was reason to believe that an overseas insurer had failed to comply with an undertaking or if it was unable to be satisfied that the insurer was fully complying with the undertakings.

HMRC would give the insurer the opportunity to explain any discrepancies or omissions. It would not withdraw from a release agreement if it was satisfied that any failures were not deliberate and action had been taken to prevent similar failures happening in future. An insurer has the right to ask HMRC to review the decision and to appeal against a decision by HMRC to withdraw from a release agreement.

Further reference and feedback IPTM1013