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

Qualifying life assurance policies

You can send applications to approve certification of qualifying life assurance policies, under schedule 15 ICTA 1988, to:

HM Revenue and Customs
CTISA Corporation Tax and Business Income Tax
Financial Services Team
3rd Floor
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

Telephone: 03000 585 911

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The Treasury Consents regime was repealed by Finance Act 2009.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.

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 post

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.

Requesting advance clearance under statutory provisions by email

You can request advance clearances by sending an email to reconstructions@hmrc.gsi.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 you would like HMRC to reply by email then say so in your email and include 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.gsi.gov.uk to check.

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.gsi.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 CFCs

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.gsi.gov.uk.

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

Post a clearance application for CFCs

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’ve 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

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

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trust scheme

The Small Company Enterprise Centre can give you advice about these schemes, as well as non-statutory advance assurance to companies seeking investment under these schemes.

Local Compliance
Small Company Enterprise Centre Admin Team
SO777
PO Box 3900
Glasgow
G70 6AA

Telephone: 0300 123 1083

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 18 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. The address of where to send non-statutory clearances has been updated.
  2. The address to send non-statutory clearance or approval applications has been updated.
  3. The address for the Clearance and Counteraction Team has been updated.
  4. Under headings 'Company migrations' and 'Controlled Foreign Companies' there are updates to addresses and email link.
  5. The address and telephone number have been revised under Section 'Investing in the UK'.
  6. Contact details for Expression of Interest in an APA and for making an APA application have been removed.
  7. Contact details for Transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements) has been updated.
  8. Under the heading 'Business Investment Relief' the address has been updated.
  9. Small Company Enterprise Centre Telephone number changed to 0300 123 1083.
  10. Amendments made to 'Statutory applications for advance clearance' section.
  11. First published.