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Finance Act 2012

Background Note

11.There is currently a regulatory requirement for general insurance companies (but not members of Lloyd’s) to maintain equalisation reserves in respect of certain lines of business.  From 1996, amounts transferred into equalisation reserves were made tax deductible and transfers out were treated as taxable receipts of the company’s business.

12.The relief currently available is dependent on the regulatory requirement for general insurance companies to maintain equalisation reserves.  As a result of the European Union Solvency II Directive that requirement will be withdrawn.

13.An informal consultation took place between April and August 2011 with an industry working group.   Both the Association of British Insurers and Lloyd’s, representing general insurance companies and corporate and partnership members at Lloyd’s, have been included in the consultation process.

14.Taking into account these discussions, the Government has decided to repeal the legislation that allows tax relief for equalisation reserves. The Government has also decided to introduce a transitional period for the release of built-up reserves that involves spreading that release in equal instalments over a 6 year period commencing from the date that the Solvency II capital requirements come into force.  Insurers may also elect to have the full remaining balance of the built-up reserve released to tax in any calendar year during the transitional period.

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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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