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HMRC launches consultation in bid to curb IPT avoidance

The HMRC has launched an open consultation into how Insurance Premium Tax operates in a bid to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers to pay the right tax at the right time.

HMRC launches consultation in bid to curb IPT avoidance
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Closing on 17 July, the HMRC is undertaking a call for evidence to understand more about how the administration and collection of IPT can be modernised and the extent to which there are emerging practices leading to unfair tax outcomes.

IPT was introduced in 1994 as a tax on insurers, covering general insurance premiums for risks located in the UK. In recent years, there have been a number of changes in the way the insurance market operates, reflecting commercial, regulatory and other developments.

“We are aware that in some instances these may give rise to unintended tax outcomes, particularly when coupled with developments in tax case law. The government is therefore conducting this call for evidence to gather further information and ideas on options to modernise the operation of IPT,” the HMRC said.

The review will focus on examining the administration and collection of IPT to identify and assess the possible options for ensuring these processes are efficient; and the existence of unfair tax outcomes, including an understanding of how they arise and the options available to best address them.

“There is currently no publicly accessible way for brokers or consumers to verify whether an insurer is registered to pay IPT,” the HMRC said.

“This prevents stakeholders from easily identifying insurers that are failing to register and pay IPT. It also potentially enables the use of non-compliant insurers and allows for the undercutting of compliant companies.”

The HMRC has outlined a total of 17 questions in the consultation document.

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