Guidance

How to apply for clearance or approval of a transaction from HMRC

Find out how to apply for clearances or approvals for transactions from HMRC, and where to send applications.

HMRC will not give clearances or advice for the application of the ‘settlements legislation’ in Chapter 5 Part 5 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 or the tax consequences of executing non-charitable trust deeds or settlements.

Clearances and the general anti-abuse rule

HMRC will not give either formal or informal clearances that the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR) does not apply.

No assurances about the tax treatment of a transaction are given where, in HMRC’s view, the arrangements constitute tax avoidance.

HMRC will continue to discuss commercial arrangements with large businesses and wealthy individuals and confirm where appropriate that it does not regard particular arrangements as tax avoidance.

Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks

Where a bank adopts the Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks, it’s agreeing not to enter into any tax avoidance arrangements that the GAAR may apply to.

This does not mean that every arrangement outside the GAAR is accepted by HMRC as within the Code.

Customer relationship managers will continue to give HMRC’s view whether a transaction is code compliant, if asked by a bank under the Code.

Statutory clearance or approval

Statutory applications for advance clearance

HMRC’s Clearance and Counteraction Team handles requests where advance clearance is required under statutory provisions for:

You can request clearance under any of these provisions by post or email.

Requesting advance clearance under statutory provisions by email

You can request advance clearances by sending an email to reconstructions@hmrc.gov.uk. You do not need to send a paper copy.

Attachments should be no larger than 2MB. Do not send self-extracting zip files as HMRC software will block them.

If possible we would like to reply by email, but we need your permission to do so by including the following statement:

‘I confirm that our client understands and accepts the risks associated with email and that they are happy for you to send information concerning their business or personal details to us by email. I also confirm that HMRC can send emails to the following address (or addresses)….’

If you’re making the application on behalf of yourself or your company adapt this wording as necessary.

You should assess the risks of using email to send or to receive information. HMRC cannot guarantee the security of emails sent or received over the internet. If you use email to send information, you do so at your own risk.

If you have doubts about the authenticity of an email you receive which claims to come from the Clearance and Counteraction Team, email reconstructions@hmrc.gov.uk to check. You do not need to send a paper copy.

Requesting advance clearance under statutory provisions by post

If you cannot use email send your letter to the Clearance and Counteraction Team to:

BAI Clearance
HMRC
BX9 1JL

Make it clear at the top of your letter which clearances you’re asking for. HMRC will reply to all the provisions outlined in your letter.

Transfers of long-term business

Send applications for a clearance under Section 132 Finance Act 2012 to:

HMRC
CS&TD Business, Assets and International
BAI Financial Services Team
4th Floor
Meldrum House
15 Drumsheugh Gardens
Edinburgh
EH3 7UL

Transactions in shares or debentures

The Treasury Consents regime was repealed by Finance Act 2009. Events or transactions taking place on or after 1 July 2009 are subject to a new reporting regime, details can be read in HMRC’s International Manual.

Transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements)

HMRC has run an Advance Pricing Agreements (APA) programme since 1999 to assist businesses in identifying solutions for complex transfer pricing issues.

HMRC issued Statement of Practice 2 (2010) as general guidance on how HMRC interprets the APA legislation, and how HMRC operates the UK APA programme.

Non-statutory clearance or approval

You can find information on the clearance service offered by HMRC for customers and their advisers who need clarification on guidance or legislation relating to a specific transaction.

Company migrations

You must tell HMRC about a company migration and request approval of arrangements of tax liabilities in accordance with section 109B to 100F Taxes Management Act 1970.

Notification of and approval of arrangements for payment of tax liabilities in accordance with section 109B to 109F Taxes Management Act 1970 (previously section 130 Finance Act 1988). See Statement of Practice 2 (1990).

Email applications for clearance to clearances.companymigration@hmrc.gov.uk, or send them by post to:

HM Revenue and Customs
Business, Assets and International
Base Protection Policy Team
NE98 1ZZ

Controlled Foreign Companies

You can send applications for clearance in relation to Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) in accordance with:

Email a clearance application for CFC

If the UK group has a Customer Relationship Manager or Customer Co-ordinator, you can email clearance applications and supporting documents (such as accounts) to them.

If it does not, you can email applications to cfcs.mailbox@hmrc.gov.uk.

We will reply by post unless you ask us to reply by email in your application.

Post a clearance application for CFC

Send applications by post to:

HM Revenue and Customs
Business, Assets and International
Base Protection Policy Team
NE98 1ZZ

Market sensitive applications

HMRC considers information that could affect the price of a stock market quoted company, and information concerning the financial affairs of well-known individuals, as market sensitive.

These are handled by fewer people and subject to extra security but otherwise treated in the same way as non-market sensitive applications.

If you send a market sensitive application, you should mark it for the attention of the team leader. For security reasons we will not send responses to market sensitive applications by email.

Be aware that:

  • the team will only send an acknowledgement of an application if you have asked for one
  • the team frequently receives high volumes of applications and this may delay their reply to you - keep this in mind when planning transactions
  • we do not handle applications for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) adjudications - find out how to get HMRC advice on how SDLT will apply

Non-statutory clearance applications should be sent to:

HM Revenue and Customs
Non Statutory Clearance Team S0563
5th Floor, Saxon House
1 Causeway Lane
Leicester
LE1 4AA

Email: nonstatutoryclearanceteam.hmrc@hmrc.gov.uk

Investments in the UK

Inward Investment Support service

If your business is based outside the UK and you’re thinking of investing in the UK, you should use the Inward Investment Service to discuss the tax implications of your investment.

Business Investment Relief provisions

If you want to ask HMRC for its view on whether a proposed investment can be treated as a qualifying investment as defined in section 809VC Income Tax Act (ITA) 2007, you should use Annex B of the Non-Statutory Clearance guidance.

Send your application for advance clearance on Business Investment Relief to:

Wealthy and Mid-sized Business Compliance
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1BN

You can call HMRC if you have any queries about Business Investment Relief. Telephone: 03000 565 250.

Creative Industries

You can contact the Creative Industry Unit for advice on the scheme as it applies to:

  • animation tax
  • film tax
  • high-end television tax
  • video games development reliefs

EIS, SEIS and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) scheme

HMRC administers the tax-advantaged venture capital schemes mainly through a specialist Venture Capital Reliefs (VCR) team that deals with:

  • enquiries from companies about the conditions of the EIS, SEIS, social investment tax relief and the VCT scheme
  • requests from companies for informal advance clearance that they will meet the requirements of EIS, SEIS and VCT schemes
  • statutory applications from companies under the EIS and SEIS
  • the statutory approval of companies as VCTs

The VCR Team does not deal with claims by investors to Income Tax or capital gains reliefs under any of the 3 schemes, and claims to Shares Loss Relief - these are dealt with by the tax office dealing with the claimant.

You can contact the VCR Team by email: enterprise.centre@hmrc.gov.uk or by writing to:

Venture Capital Relief Team
HM Revenue and Customs
WMBC
BX9 1BN

You can also leave a telephone message to request a call back from the VCR team. Telephone: 0300 123 3440.

Extra Statutory Concessions

General advice on specialist technical areas of taxation

Notices for VAT, and Customs and Excise

Revenue and customs briefs - policy changes resulting from legislation, litigation or policy reviews

Statements of Practice

Published 28 June 2011
Last updated 11 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. The address for the Venture Capital Relief Team has been updated.

  2. Guidance on investments in the UK for Enterprise Investment Schemes, Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes and Venture Capital Trust schemes has been updated.

  3. Qualifying life assurance policies section has been replaced with the Transfers of long-term business section.

  4. The address of where to send non-statutory clearances has been updated.

  5. The address to send non-statutory clearance or approval applications has been updated.

  6. The address for the Clearance and Counteraction Team has been updated.

  7. Under headings 'Company migrations' and 'Controlled Foreign Companies' there are updates to addresses and email link.

  8. The address and telephone number have been revised under Section 'Investing in the UK'.

  9. Contact details for Expression of Interest in an APA and for making an APA application have been removed.

  10. Contact details for Transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements) has been updated.

  11. Under the heading 'Business Investment Relief' the address has been updated.

  12. Small Company Enterprise Centre Telephone number changed to 0300 123 1083.

  13. Amendments made to 'Statutory applications for advance clearance' section.

  14. First published.