“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter
On 12 December 2003 FiscalReps was formed with the intention of providing a very specific solution to a problem that had been causing the insurance industry considerable strife in the previous few years. The requirement to appoint a local fiscal representative together with the need to make numerous premium tax filings in multiple countries was making premium tax compliance difficult for insurers writing business across the European Union under Freedom of Services provisions.
Ten years on, FiscalReps provide this service to over 280 clients, submitting on average over 2,000 tax returns per month and paying over €150m of premium taxes on behalf of our clients every year. This service is controlled, managed and delivered centrally from offices in Farnborough using a network of wholly owned subsidiaries acting as local fiscal representatives where required.
Timing was crucial; two years on from the Kvaerner case the insurance market was looking for a solution to the problem of premium tax compliance just as FiscalReps was formed. Also, the World Wide Web enabled us to gather information quickly and easily and transact business internally, the common currency in Europe simplified (some) tax payments and low cost air travel allowed us to frequently fly across Europe to meet clients and tax officials.
Perseverance was essential; building a process without a blueprint to follow and from a standing start enabling us to file taxes in over 20 countries, in 12 different currencies and using 15 different languages was no easy feat but was achieved one step at a time in an orderly, professional and controlled manner.
After 10 years of trying, our continued business growth, long standing client relationships and rapport with tax officials throughout Europe makes me think that we must be doing something right.
But rather than stopping here, now is the perfect time to really push on; to help more clients with their compliance problems, to make premium taxes simpler and easier for existing clients and to identify other compliance problems that we can assist the insurance market with.