Texas Department of Insurance-licensed life insurers, accident and health insurers, property and casualty insurers, title insurers and health maintenance organizations with a net tax liability in the previous calendar year of more than $1,000 are required to prepay tax semi-annually on March 1 and Aug. 1.
The amount of each prepayment should be half of the total amount of tax paid the previous calendar year, (Item 25 on Form 25-100, Texas Annual Insurance Premium Tax Report (Licensed Insurance Companies and Miscellaneous Organizations) (PDF), or half of the current year’s estimated liability, whichever is less.
The Comptroller will bill the company for penalty and interest on the underestimated amount of tax. The Comptroller cannot determine whether penalty and/or interest will apply to a late or insufficient prepayment until the taxpayer files the annual report due the following March 1, so the bill may take a while to arrive.
The Comptroller mails a detailed report of the total available credits to all companies, whether filing Form 25-100 or using WebFile, in late January each year.
If you file electronically, WebFile will automatically apply the maximum guaranty association assessment, Texas Certified Capital Company Program (CAPCO) and Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) available credit. Do not enter these available credits in the “Credits” field; this field is reserved for examination expense and overhead assessment credits only.
For paper filers, the Comptroller preprints each year’s maximum allowable credit on Item 24 of Form 25-100, Texas Annual Insurance Premium Tax Report (Licensed Insurance Companies and Miscellaneous Organizations) (PDF).
If the preparer enters credits in error, the company will be billed for any duplicate credits claimed, plus applicable penalty and interest.
The company can carry forward to future years any portion of the maximum Class B assessment credits that cannot be used in any year. The remaining balance is reflected in the Comptroller’s records, extending the life of the credits.
Assessment credits can be assigned or transferred among or between insurers if there is a merger, acquisition or total assumption of reinsurance, or if the Commissioner of Insurance approves the transfer or assignment.
The Comptroller does not mail preprinted tax forms to a taxpayer who is required to file electronically or who has filed electronically for the previous two tax years.
The Comptroller will continue to send licensed insurers a report of any guaranty association assessment, CAPCO and TWIA credits available to be claimed on the current report. When the company files electronically, WebFile will automatically apply the available guaranty association assessment, CAPCO and TWIA credits.
Maybe. If the company paid the Texas Department of Insurance for examination expenses or overhead assessments billed, the company can claim these expenses as a credit on the tax report covering the year in which they were paid.
This tax credit was suspended by the Legislature for tax years 2012 and 2013, but the company can again claim it on tax reports from 2014 forward.
The Comptroller reconciles the credits claimed against information the Texas Department of Insurance provides, and issues billings or refunds as appropriate.
Refer to Insurance Code Section 401.154 for additional information.
Insurance Code Chapters 223 and 271 address premium tax and maintenance fees for title agents and insurers. Premiums received from the business of title insurance are subject to both premium tax and the maintenance fee, whether paid to a title insurance company or retained by a title insurance agent.
The state facilitates the collection of the premium tax and maintenance fee on the premiums retained by a title insurance agent by establishing the division of the premiums between the title insurance company and title insurance agent so the company receives the premium tax and maintenance fee due on the agent’s portion of the premiums and remits it to the state.
Refer to the Retaliatory Tax section of these FAQs for information regarding this calculation.
The Comptroller will create a tax account for the company and will assign it a unique 11-digit taxpayer number. The company will use that number to file all insurance tax reports.
The premium tax and maintenance tax reports are due each March 1 after the end of the calendar year for which the tax is due (for example, March 1, 2016, for tax due in 2015).
The premium tax rate for captive insurance companies is 0.5 percent, with a minimum tax due of $7,500 and a maximum tax due of $200,000.
For premium tax purposes, all premiums written by the captive are taxable in Texas, regardless of the location of any covered risks located outside Texas. The company can claim examination fees paid to the Texas Department of Insurance as a premium tax credit on the tax report covering the year in which these fees were paid. Unused credits cannot be carried forward.
A captive insurance company having a net tax liability in the previous calendar year of more than $1,000 is required to prepay tax semi-annually on March 1 and Aug. 1. The prepayment must be equal to half of the total amount of tax the company paid for the previous calendar year or half of the current year’s estimated liability, whichever is less.
If tax was not paid the previous calendar year, the tax paid must be equal to the tax owed on the aggregate of the gross premiums for the two previous calendar quarters. For example, for the March 1, 2016, prepayment, this means July 2015 through December 2015; for the Aug. 1, 2016, prepayment, this means January 2016 through June 2016. Penalty and interest will be due on late or insufficient prepayments.
Captive insurance companies are also responsible for reporting and paying maintenance taxes. These taxes are due based on the type of business written. Unlike premium tax, only the premium on policies covering risk in Texas is subject to this tax.
Refer to Rule 3.827.
The tax is due March 1 based on policies placed in the prior year. The company reports the premium and the tax due to the Comptroller on either a “written” or “received” basis.
Agents should not use the yearly summary the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLSOT) provides, because this is a compilation of all transactions processed during the calendar year and does not reflect either of the two methods of reporting to the Comptroller.
Yes, all agents and agencies holding an active Texas surplus lines license must file a tax report, whether or not business was placed during the year. A tax report is also due for the year in which a surplus lines license is cancelled, expires or is not renewed, or is voluntarily surrendered.
You can file electronically using WebFile. If you are unable to file electronically, use Form 25-104, Texas Annual Insurance Report (Surplus Lines/Purchasing Groups) (PDF).
If an agent or agency’s accrued tax reaches $70,000, a prepayment of tax is required. The prepayment is based on the total accrued tax at the end of the month in which the threshold was reached, and is payable to the Comptroller by the 15th of the following month (for example, tax is due April 15 for a threshold reached in March). The prepayment amount must be computed based on the tax reporting method the agent chooses.
You can use WebFile to prepay, or you can submit the prepayment on Form 25-105, Texas Insurance Prepayment Form (Surplus Lines) (PDF), if not required to pay taxes electronically.
The tax rate for surplus lines policies is 4.85 percent.
The Comptroller does not mail preprinted tax forms to a taxpayer who is required to file electronically or who has filed electronically for the previous two tax years. If you or your agency’s address has changed, update your address with TDI and they will notify our office of the change.
The premium-written method of reporting surplus lines premium tax means that the tax is reportable to the Comptroller based on the effective date of a new or renewal policy. For example, a policy having an effective date of Dec. 20, 2014, must be reported on the 2014 annual tax report regardless of when the premium is billed and collected.
Endorsements, audits or cancellations that result in changes to the original premium charged are reportable based on the date those changes occur, and not on the original policy’s effective date.
The premium-received method of reporting means that the tax is reportable to the Comptroller based on the date the insurance premium tax is collected on a new or renewal policy, or in the case of transactions that result in a return of premium, when the premium tax refund is made.
Nonresident agents can obtain a Texas surplus lines license if they hold the same license in their home state. The nonresident agent must follow Texas laws and regulations when placing surplus lines business for Texas residents and paying surplus lines tax. The agent cannot begin doing business in this state prior to receiving a Texas license.
Contact the Agent’s Licensing Division, Texas Department of Insurance, at 512-676-6500 to apply for a license.
A report is due even if you did not place business with your surplus lines license. If you did not file a tax report for the year noted on the billing, the Comptroller’s Enforcement Division has estimated tax due. If you did not place any business in the surplus lines market, you must file a zero tax report to satisfy insurance tax filing requirements and prevent further collection actions.
Each Texas tax has its own exemptions. An exemption from one tax does not necessarily extend to other taxes. There is no exemption from surplus lines tax for policies issued to nonprofit organizations.
The Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 (NRRA), which was included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, changed the regulation and taxation of surplus lines insurance policies.
The NRRA, effective July 21, 2011, changed the allocation of premium in all states.
Under the NRRA, the home state of the insured controls regulation and taxation, and all policies must be reported to the home state of the insured.
If a multi-state policy is placed where Texas is the home state of the insured, then 100 percent of the premium must be reported to Texas regardless of the locations of the risk.
If Texas is the home state of the insured, but the policy covers risks entirely outside Texas, the state to which the largest amount of premium is allocated becomes the home state. Refer to the “Example” section addressing surplus lines and the NRRA.
For more information, refer to the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLSOT) NRRA Bulletin and Guidelines for Premium Tax Compliance with the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (PDF).
Policies issued for risks located in federal or international waters, or under the jurisdiction of a foreign government, are not subject to tax. Federal preemptions from state taxation are recognized for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) when it is the receiver of a failed financial institution and holds the insured property, federally chartered credit unions, the National Credit Union Administration and risks located on Indian Tribal Nations reservations. Additionally, premiums are exempt on policies insuring risks or exposures under ocean marine insurance coverage of stored or in-transit baled cotton for export. Refer to Surplus Lines Tax Exemptions/Preemptions (PDF).
The NRRA defines the “home state of the insured” as the principal residence of an individual or the principal place of business of the insured that is not an individual.
In the case of a business, this generally refers to the corporate headquarters. For some larger companies with numerous operations and subsidiaries, this might be more difficult to determine. We have adopted a “nerve center” approach to make this determination, as found in the United States Supreme Court case Hertz Corp. v. Friend et al, 559 U.S. 77 (U.S. 2010). The nerve center is the location from which the company radiates out into all its constituent parts, and from which the high-level executives in the company direct, control and coordinate its activities.
Only the home state can require a surplus lines agent to be licensed in order to sell, solicit or negotiate nonadmitted insurance with respect to an insured, such that an agent located outside the United States and its territories and possessions might be required to hold such a license. In the absence of a Texas Department of Insurance-issued surplus lines license, the foreign agent would be required to locate a Texas-licensed surplus lines agent, who would be required to place the policy, report the policy to the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLSOT) and report and pay the tax due to the Comptroller.
No. Although Texas is the home state of the insured, this policy’s home state will be the state to which the largest amount of premium is allocated because there is no exposure in Texas.
Oklahoma is the home state of the insured, and it is irrelevant that only 5 percent of the premium is allocable to it. In this case, 100 percent of the tax is payable to Oklahoma.
Before the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act was passed, the independently procured tax statute required taxes to be paid on insurance procured on Texas risks or exposures, when the insurer is not licensed to write insurance in Texas and when all negotiations for the insurance occurred outside of Texas.
The appropriate and timely payment of the tax provides an exemption from unauthorized insurance provisions. Failure to pay the tax may subject the policyholder, the insurer and the agent to unauthorized insurance provisions if any insurance activity occurs in Texas. These activities include claims adjustments, payment of claims and inspections.
The tax rate for independently procured policies is 4.85 percent.
The tax rate for independently procured policies is 4.85 percent.
You can file electronically using WebFile or by completing and submitting independently procured insurance tax Form 25-103, Texas Annual Insurance Tax Report (Independently Procured Insurance) (PDF), and the supplement Form 25-122, Texas Annual Insurance Tax Report (Independently Procured Insurance) – Supplement (PDF).
Independently procured insurance tax is due on or before May 15 of the year following the calendar year in which the policy is written (for example, May 15, 2016, for a policy written in 2015).
The tax applies to all types of insurance except individual life or individual disability policies.
In addition, workers’ compensation coverage is ineligible for the independently procured market because workers’ compensation providers in Texas must be licensed insurers.
Yes. For policies effective on or after July 21, 2011, independently procured insurance is defined more narrowly as “insurance procured directly by an insured from a nonadmitted insurer.” An agent or broker must not be involved in the placement for the policy to be considered independently procured.
Yes. To be considered as assistance in placing a policy of insurance, there would have to be a revenue factor involved, either by direct receipt of a commission or by fees received in lieu of commission on that particular policy placement.
The agreement between the broker/agent and the policyholder should specifically delineate between general services performed, some of which might be subject to sales tax as taxable insurance services, and those performed with the intent of obtaining a policy of insurance. Refer to Insurance Services Rule 3.355.
The company must first confirm it is no longer subject to the tax after July 21, 2011, the effective date of the NRRA. There are three alternatives for taxation of insurance business, excluding unauthorized insurance:
Surplus lines market: If the company’s home state is Texas, and if a policy is placed using a Texas surplus lines agent, the agent will collect and pay the surplus lines insurance premium taxes due to the Comptroller.
If Texas is not the company’s home state, the surplus lines agent will report the policy according to the laws of the company’s home state.
Independently procured policy: If your company does procure a policy directly from a nonadmitted insurer, and if your company’s home state is Texas, then tax is due to Texas based on the entire premium charged for the policy, even if there is risk located in other states.
Conversely, if your company’s home state is not Texas, and if the policy covers risks in your home state as well as in Texas or other states, under the NRRA, only the home state is entitled to tax on the entire premium charged for the policy. If the policy does not cover any risk in your home state, the state with the largest allocation of premium becomes the home state and any tax due should be reported to that state.
If you are no longer responsible for paying independently procured insurance taxes, contact our office at 1-800-252-1387, explain why your company is no longer subject to the tax and ask that your independently procured tax account be inactivated.
Unauthorized insurance is placed without the required license or authorization of statute, or outside the scope of the license or authorization granted.
A policy obtained from an unlicensed insurer that does not fit the criteria for surplus lines or independently procured is also considered unauthorized insurance.
Anyone who conducts the business of insurance, which includes any of the acts defined in Insurance Code Section 101.051, must hold an appropriate Texas Department of Insurance-issued state license.
The unauthorized insurer is responsible for paying the 4.85 percent tax. If the insurer does not pay the tax when it is due, then the unauthorized insurance premium tax becomes a liability of both the agent and the insured until the tax is paid.
You can file electronically using WebFile. If you are unable to file electronically, use Form 25-108, Texas Annual Insurance Tax Report (Unauthorized Insurance) (PDF), and the required supplement Form 25-123, Texas Annual Insurance Tax Report – Supplement (Unauthorized Insurance) (PDF).
Unauthorized insurance tax must be filed on or before March 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the policy became effective (for example, March 1, 2016, for a policy that became effective in 2015). The tax base is the premium covering risks located in Texas.
The total assessment for fiscal years ending 2016 and 2017 is $18,562,654 as determined by the Commissioner of Insurance under Order No. 4220 dated December 14, 2015. For fiscal years beginning Sept. 1, 2017, as determined by the Commissioner of Insurance, the Comptroller is required to assess the lesser of $30 million or the total amount that the General Appropriations Act appropriates from the volunteer fire department assistance fund account in the general revenue fund for that state fiscal year, other than appropriations for contributions to the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System.
For a copy of the assessment, call us toll-free at 1-800-252-1387.
The Comptroller mails the billings to your company. The assessment due is calculated based on an individual insurer’s gross direct written premium in certain lines of business in proportion to the total of all insurers’ gross direct written premium in these same lines. The Texas Department of Insurance provides the Comptroller with the Texas gross direct premium written by each insurer for lines 1, 3, 4, 5.1, 21.1 and 21.2 on Statutory Page 14 of the insurer’s annual statement; verify your company’s premium by adding the Texas gross direct premium written for these lines.
An insurer cannot determine the amount of its billing without the total of all insurers’ gross direct premium for the categories used in the calculation; therefore, the form is not available to the insurer. We will send you a duplicate billing upon request.
Texas A&M Forest Service administers the fund. Contact them at 979-458-6505.
No. The ABTPA assessment is regulated under Vernon’s Civil Statutes, Title 70, Chapter 9, Article 4413 (37). While the definition of insurer in subsection (a) appears broad enough to include surplus lines insurers, subsection (d) stipulates that failure to pay the assessment may result in revocation of the insurer’s certificate of authority. Surplus lines insurers are not licensed and do not have a certificate of authority in Texas.
The Comptroller’s office collects this assessment under contract with the ABTPA. Insurers who overpay must notify the ABTPA within four years of payment. The Authority decides whether overpayments will be refunded, and the Authority’s decision is final.
If you have questions about ABTPA assessment refunds, call the ABTPA at 512-465-4011.
The assessment defrays the administrative and operating costs of the Office of Public Insurance Counsel, which was created to represent the interests of Texas insurance consumers.
The OPIC assessment for property and casualty insurance companies is based on the number of policies in force at the end of the year. A company reporting maintenance tax premiums in any line item, but entering a zero in the OPIC assessment or leaving it blank, will receive a notice requesting a check of its tax report for accuracy. If there are reported premiums, we assume there were policies in force at year-end, and an OPIC assessment applies to the premiums reported.
The OPIC assessment for life, accident and health, HMOs and title insurance applies only to new policies or certificates of coverage issued during the year. If premiums are reported for maintenance tax for any of these categories and no OPIC assessment has been calculated, we ask the taxpayer to verify the tax report for accuracy.
These include guaranty association assessments, high risk health pool assessments, joint underwriting association assessments, windstorm association assessments or other similar assessments.
These assessments apply only to insurance companies and only for losses or deficits as provided under Texas laws or under the laws of any other state or territory.
The retaliatory tax applies only to insurers – title agents are not insurers. Title agents are required to pay premium tax and maintenance fees on their portion of the title insurance premiums. The Insurance Code requires the title insurance companies to remit these taxes and fees on behalf of title agents.
For retaliatory tax purposes, the title insurer is required to show 100 percent of the premium from all operations for both Texas and its state of incorporation, and then deduct on Form 25-200, Retaliatory Worksheet — Insurance (Applicable to Foreign and Alien Taxpayers) (PDF), in Item 19a, the agent’s portion of the premium split (currently 85 percent) for both premium tax and maintenance fee purposes.
The title insurer must show the total premium for all business, including the 85 percent the agent currently retains, on the state of incorporation side of the calculation. Title insurers domiciled in a “risk rate” state should show the Texas “all inclusive” premium from all operations, including the agent’s retention, on both the Texas and the state of incorporation side, and then deduct the agent’s portion of the premium split in Item 19a and any portion of the total premium not taxed by the home state in Item 19b of Form 25-200.
For retaliatory tax purposes, the Comptroller requires the same premium volume be used as the starting point for the comparison. If the home state taxes finance and service charges, for example, the tax or fee due on these amounts must be shown separately in Item 26b of Form 25-200, Retaliatory Worksheet — Insurance (Applicable to Foreign and Alien Taxpayers) (PDF).
Similarly, if the insurer writes workers’ compensation business and is allowed to report on an installment or a basis other than the “written” basis Texas requires, any reduction to premium should be shown in Item 14b (or if an addition to premium, include the additional tax due in Item 26b).
Maintenance taxes and fees (generally referred to as “maintenance taxes”) fund the Texas Department of Insurance, which administers the insurance laws in Texas.
The Texas Department of Insurance sets each year’s maintenance tax rates based on the prior year’s premium volume and the next year’s anticipated funding needs.
The rates are generally set in late November or early December, and the Comptroller mails report forms with the preprinted rates by the end of January. The current rates are available in Insurance Maintenance Tax Rates and Assessments on Premiums (PDF).
Maintenance taxes are assessed on annuities at the time of annuitization or purchase.
Typically known as “back-end reporting,” this method does not include funds left with insurance companies in deposit-type accounts.
Deposit-type accounts, including deferred-annuity deposits, such as funds received by insurance companies to fund retirement programs and individual annuities to purchase annuity contracts in the future, accumulate interest or investment earnings until the funds are either withdrawn or used to purchase an annuity. Maintenance taxes would then be assessed on the total cost of the annuity contract purchased.
Maintenance tax is based on workers’ compensation premiums before applying any deductible credits.
Maintenance taxes are used to fund the Texas Department of Insurance, its Workers’ Compensation Research Division and the Division of Workers’ Compensation/Office of Injured Employee Counsel (DWC/OIEC).
Each division and the OIEC are responsible for regulating different aspects of workers’ compensation insurance in Texas, and each sets a maintenance tax rate to support its operations.
This does not affect the workers’ compensation amounts reported to the Comptroller.
The Comptroller requires the premium written basis for reporting workers’ compensation premium, based on the effective date of the new or renewal policy and the total estimated annual premium charged to the insured.
The Comptroller does not recognize an installment, booked-as-billed or any other tax reporting method. The Comptroller requires a deductible credit option chosen by the insured to be added to the estimated annual premium for maintenance tax purposes.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.