Revenue Tax Briefing

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Revenue Tax Briefing Issue 25, February 1997

Medical Insurance Relief – BUPA


BUPA Ireland commenced trading on the Irish market on 1 January 1997.

It is an authorised insurer within the meaning of Section 145 Income Tax Act 1967. Qualification for relief in respect of premiums paid is set out in that section.

Tax treatment

Briefly, the position is:

Where a taxpayer makes payments to an authorised insurer under a contract of insurance which provides specifically for the reimbursement or discharge, in whole or in part, of actual medical, surgical or nursing expenses the taxpayer is entitled to income tax relief at the standard rate on the amount of premiums paid.

Where the premiums paid to the authorised insurer entitle the taxpayer to benefits other than such reimbursement, the amount of relief to be given is to be restricted to that portion of the premiums which provides cover for the reimbursement or discharge, of expenses.

Payment of benefits other than such reimbursement is generally made under what are commonly known as “cash plans”. Premiums or the part of the premium, paid in respect of such cash plans do not qualify for relief.

Relief due for qualifying premiums paid between 1 January 1997 and 5 April 1997 will be allowed in the 1997/98 tax year.