Policy paper

Changes in processing option to tax forms

Updated 13 January 2023

Purpose of this brief

To outline refinements for the option to tax notification process starting from 1 February 2023. This is following a period of consultation.

Who needs to read this

Anyone who corresponds with the option to tax national unit.

Reason for the change

To allow HMRC to complete notification actions more efficiently and continue to meet HMRC legislative and security obligations.


Receipt of an option to tax notification

From the 1 September 2022, acknowledgement letters were replaced by a receipt letter, confirming an option to tax notification had been received, and recorded by HMRC.

From 1 February 2023, HMRC will stop issuing option to tax notification receipt letters. Options notified to HMRC before this date, will get a standard option to tax notification receipt.

You should send an option to tax notification by email to: optiontotaxnationalunit@hmrc.gov.uk. In the subject line you’ll need to include the:

  • property address, including postcode
  • effective date of the option to tax notification

The automated response will have the date when the notification was received by HMRC which you should keep for your records.

A notification sent any other way than by email, will not get an acknowledgement or receipt. We will, however, respond if we need more information.

These changes will not impact how HMRC handles belated notifications.

Confirming existence of an option to tax

It is, and will still be your responsibility, when notifying of your option to tax, to keep such information as part of your business records. These should be kept for at least 6 years. For more information read:

HMRC will only respond if a record of an option to tax is held for the relevant property, if a request is made under one of the following conditions:

  • the effective opted date is likely to be over 6 years ago
  • if you’ve been appointed as a Land and Property Act receiver, or an insolvency practitioner to administer the property in question

If these conditions are met, we will ask you to provide details for the associated land or property, or both. This must be accompanied by a letter or deed of appointment for your role, otherwise we will be unable to help.

You must provide the following details:

  • name of the business or person who opted to tax the property
  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • full address of the land or property in question, including postcode
  • effective date of the option to tax, if known
  • date you first charged VAT on the opted land or property
  • date the property was either acquired or a loan was taken out (or both) by the opter on the relevant property

More information


If you’re an agent for the business, you’ll need to confirm the same when you submit a request.


If you have a VAT group registration number, you’ll need to give the number linked to the relevant option.

Questions about this brief

If you have any questions about this Revenue and Customs Brief, send an email with ‘R&C Brief 1/23’ in the subject line to: optiontotaxnationalunit@hmrc.gov.uk.