European Governments Hike Insurance Premium Taxes

Finance deficits and a worsening economic outlook have led several governments across Europe to ramp up insurance premium tax (IPT) rates, according to research from the London-based International Underwriting Association (IUA). It reports that many higher tax rates were implemented from 1 January 2013 and will serve to fund rising state debt in many EU countries.

The IUA produces an annual ‘Tax Mat’ summarising IPT applicable to various lines of business for each of the nations in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the latest version notes new tax burdens in eight different countries.

“The last 12 months have seen many governments in Europe seeking to raise revenue from taxes on insurance premiums,” said Nick Lowe, the IUA’s director of government affairs. “New tax regimes have been introduced and rates of existing taxes have been raised. Austerity is driving up the cost of insurance.”

A new motor premium tax has been introduced in France while Denmark has replaced existing stamp duty with a new fixed premium tax. New IPT rates have also been set in Finland, Hungary and the Netherlands while higher rates are expected to be confirmed in Italy.

The IUA added that it will continue to monitor insurance premium taxes across Europe and issue further updates throughout the year.

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