Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

Section 125 Certain premiums of insurance


This section imposes a stamp duty of 3 per cent on the gross amount received by an insurer in respect of certain non-life insurance premiums. The exceptions are reinsurance, voluntary health insurance, marine, aviation and transit insurance, export credit insurance and certain dental insurance contracts. The 3 per cent rate of duty applies to premiums received on or after 1 June 2009 in respect of offers of insurance or notices of renewal of insurance issued by an insurer on or after 8 April 2009. In relation to notices of renewal or offers of insurance issued prior to 8 April 2009 stamp duty at a rate of 2 per cent applies.

Because the duty is a stamp duty other appropriate provisions of this Act apply, in particular:

  • section 126B which enables an appeal against an assessment to duty (the internal review procedures set out in Statement of Practice SP-GEN/2/99 (Revised January 2005) also apply), and
  • section 152 which enables the Revenue Commissioners to refund duty in certain circumstances – but see also section 159A as regards the time limit for making a refund claim and section 159B as regards interest that may be payable on such refunds.


“assessable amount”, “excluded amount” and “quarter” are self-explanatory.

(1) In determining the amount on which duty is payable (i.e. the assessable amount) no account is to be taken of excluded amounts. The definition of “excluded amount” includes—

  • an amount received in the course or by means of reinsurance;
  • a premium received in respect of the various classes of business which are identified by reference to the classification which appears in the Annex to the First Council Directive 73/239/EEC of 24 July, 1973 (OJ No L228 of 16 August, 1973). Those classes of business are:
    • Class 4. Railway rolling stock – all damage to or loss of,
    • Class 5. Aircraft – all damage to or loss of,
    • Class 6. Ships – all damage to or loss of river, canal, lake or sea vessels,
    • Class 7. Goods in transit – all damage to or loss of goods in transit including merchandise, baggage and all other goods,
    • Class 11. Aircraft liability – all liability arising out of the use of aircraft including carrier’s liability,
    • Class 12. Liability for ships – all liability arising out of the use of vessels on sea, lakes, rivers or canals including carrier’s liability.
    • the following classes, in so far as they relate to the insurance of passengers in marine and aviation vehicles and to carriers liability insurance respectively:
      • Class 1. Accident, including industrial injury and occupational diseases;
      • Class 10. Motor vehicle liability;
      • Class 14. Credit, in so far as it relates to export credit;
  • a premium received in respect of health insurance business (being health insurance business within the meaning of section 2 of the Health Insurance Act 1994);
  • a premium received in respect of insurance contracts entered into on or after 25 March 2004, the sole purpose of which is the provision of dental services other than those involving surgical procedures carried out in a hospital by way of in-patient services within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1994.

The definition of “insurer” covers authorisations granted under the Regulations implementing the First, Second and Third Non-Life Insurance Directives. Thus, foreign-based insurers may be within the charge to duty to the extent that they receive premiums in respect of risks located in the State.

“premium” is assigned the meaning it has in the Insurance Act 1936, i.e. “…any money or money’s worth payable or paid to any person who carries on an assurance business and who in consideration of such money or money’s worth undertakes any liability under any policy, bond or certificate”.

(2) An insurer4 must furnish to the Revenue Commissioners, within 25 days from the end of each quarter, a statement in writing showing the assessable amount for that quarter.

(3) Stamp duty at the rate of 3% is chargeable on the assessable amount shown in the statement.

(4) The statement must be accompanied by the amount of duty payable.

(5) The Revenue Commissioners may obtain whatever information they require to ensure that the correct amount of duty is paid.

(6) On failure to lodge the statement by the due date or to pay the duty within the time specified, interest is chargeable, in addition to the duty, at the rate of 0.0219 per cent per day (see section 159D) from the end of the relevant quarter.

(7) This subsection enables the Revenue Commissioners to enforce delivery of the statement.

4In the case of co-insurance the leading insurer is responsible for the delivery of the statement and payment of the duty. However, if the leading insurer does not come within the definition set out in the European Communities (Co-Insurance) Regulations 1983, then each co-insurer is responsible for delivering a statement and paying the duty in respect of the portion of the gross premium received by that co-insurer.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2014