Tax on Insurers (Insurance Tax)
The insurance tax program is jointly administered by the Board of Equalization (BOE), Department of Insurance (DOI) and the Office of the State Controller (SCO).
Insurance companies that have received authority from the Department of Insurance (DOI) to transact insurance business in California are called admitted insurers and may be subject to as many as three insurance taxes in California.
All insurance companies are subject to tax on gross premiums. In addition, one of the schedules in the gross premiums tax return is used for the computation of retaliatory tax, which is the second tax that an insurance company may owe. A retaliatory tax is owed when an insurance company domiciled in another state imposes higher taxes and fees on a California-domiciled insurer for the same business.
The third insurance tax on insurance companies is ocean marine tax.
Surplus Line Brokers, who are licensed brokers that sell policies for non-admitted (non-licensed) insurance companies, also pay a tax (3.00%).
The BOE's responsibilities include issuing deficiency assessments, refunds, and evaluating appeals. Detailed BOE appeals procedures can be obtained in our publication Appeals Procedures, BOE-Publication 17. For detailed information regarding rates, please contact the DOI at 800-927-4357 or visit their website at www.insurance.ca.gov.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Are you required to register?
- To register please contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 or visit their website at www.insurance.ca.gov.
For detailed information regarding rates, contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 or visit their website at www.insurance.ca.gov.
All tax returns are filed and paid with the DOI. The DOI forwards the payments to the SCO for posting to insurers’ accounts. The DOI also forwards copies of tax returns to the BOE. From these returns, BOE staff prepares a schedule of tax by insurer. These schedules, which are distributed to the DOI and SCO, are considered to be the initial assessment of tax, as required by RTC § 12412.
If you have questions regarding this program or need to register with the BOE, please contact Special Taxes and Fees at the following address or telephone number:
Special Taxes and Fees, MIC: 88
State Board of Equalization
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0088