Foreign Insurance Taxes
Tax is imposed on insurance policies issued by foreign insurers. Any person who makes, signs, issues, or sells any of the
documents and instruments subject to the tax, or for whose use or benefit they are made, signed, issued, or sold, is liable
for the tax.
The following tax rates apply to each dollar (or fraction thereof) of the premium paid.
Casualty insurance and indemnity, fidelity, and surety bonds: 4 cents. For example, on a premium payment of $10.10, the tax
is 44 cents.
Life, sickness, and accident insurance, and annuity contracts: 1 cent. For example, on a premium payment of $10.10, the tax
is 11 cents.
Reinsurance policies covering any of the taxable contracts described in items (1) and (2): 1 cent.
However, the tax doesn't apply to casualty insurance premiums paid to foreign insurers for coverage of export goods in transit
to foreign destinations.
Premium means the agreed price or consideration for assuming and carrying the risk or obligation. It includes any
additional charge or assessment payable under the contract, whether in one sum or installments. If premiums are refunded,
claim the tax paid on those premiums as an overpayment against tax due on other premiums paid or file a claim for refund.
When liability attaches.
The liability for this tax attaches when the premium payment is transferred to the foreign insurer or reinsurer (including
transfers to any bank, trust fund, or similar recipient designated by the foreign insurer or reinsurer) or to any nonresident
agent, solicitor, or broker. A person can pay the tax before the liability attaches if the person keeps records consistent
with that practice.
Who must file.
The person who pays the premium to the foreign insurer (or to any nonresident person such as a foreign broker) must
pay the tax and file the return. Otherwise, any person who issued or sold the policy, or who is insured under the policy,
is required to pay the tax and file the return.
The person liable for this tax must keep accurate records that identify each policy or instrument subject to tax. These records
must clearly establish the type of policy or instrument, the gross premium paid, the identity of the insured and insurer,
and the total premium charged. If the premium is to be paid in installments, the records must also establish the amount and
anniversary date of each installment.
The records must be kept at the place of business or other convenient location for at least 3 years after the later
of the date any part of the tax became due, or the date any part of the tax was paid. During this period, the records must
be readily accessible to the IRS.
The person having control or possession of a policy or instrument subject to this tax must keep the policy for at
least 3 years after the date any part of the tax on it was paid.
For information on reinsurance premiums paid from one foreign insurer to another foreign insurer, see Rev. Rul. 2008-15. You
can find Rev. Rul. 2008-15 on page 633 of I.R.B. 2008-12 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb08-12.pdf.
Treaty-based positions under IRC 6114.
You may have to file an annual report disclosing the amount of premiums exempt from U.S. excise tax as a result of
the application of a treaty with the United States that overrides (or otherwise modifies) any provision of the Internal Revenue
Attach any disclosure statement to the first quarter Form 720. You may be able to use Form 8833, Treaty-Based Return
Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b), as a disclosure statement. See the Instructions for Form 720 for information
on how and where to file.
See Revenue Procedure 92-14 in Cumulative Bulletin 1992-1 for procedures you can use to claim a refund of this tax
under certain U.S. treaties.