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Insurer to inform 5,000 Irish shareholders on how to avoid tax bills on payment

Insurer to inform 5,000 Irish shareholders on how to avoid tax bills on payment

DUBLIN: British insurer Standard Life will write to more than 5,000 Irish shareholders to advise them on how to avoid tax bills on a payment made by the company earlier this year.

A large group of the company’s Irish shareholders were left with significant tax bills last year following a payment from the company that went wrong.

A problem with the postal systems in Ireland or Britain meant 5,300 Irish shareholders were left facing a tax bill that would consume half of a 73 pence sterling (almost €1) per share payout made by the company last March.

The payout followed the sale of Standard Life’s Canadian business for £2.2 billion in 2013. At the same time, the company implemented a consolidation of its shares so that investors received nine new shares for every 11 previously held.

Shareholders could choose to receive the payment as capital – which made sense for most Irish shareholders – or via the defa