Seeking clearance or approval for a transaction

Find out how to get advance clearance or approval for transactions and check addresses of where to send applications.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) won’t give clearances or advice in respect of 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 (GAAR)

HMRC won’t give either formal or informal clearances that the GAAR doesn’t apply.

HMRC has always made it clear that no assurances about the tax treatment of a transaction will be given in any situation where, in HMRC’s view, the arrangements constitute tax avoidance. Because the GAAR will only apply to abusive avoidance arrangements, this applies equally to any arrangements which might be caught by the GAAR. As part of its model of direct engagement with large businesses and wealthy individuals, HMRC discusses commercial arrangements and confirms where appropriate that it doesn’t regard particular arrangements as tax avoidance. In these cases HMRC intends that open discussions with taxpayers about commercial transactions should continue.

Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks

A bank which adopts the Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks commits not to undertake any tax planning that achieves a tax result contrary to the intentions of Parliament. It shouldn’t therefore be involved in any arrangements to which the GAAR might apply. That doesn’t mean that every arrangement outside the GAAR is regarded by HMRC as acceptable within the code. When approached by a bank under the code, Customer Relationship Managers will continue to give HMRC’s view of whether a transaction is ‘code compliant’.

Non-statutory clearance or approval

Company migrations

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

Send applications for clearance to:

HM Revenue and Customs
Business, Assets and International
Foreign Profits Team
Room 3C/21
100 Parliament Street


Controlled Foreign Companies

Clearances in relation to Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) in accordance with Part 9A Taxation (International and Other Provisions) Act 2010 (new CFC rules) or with section 747 to 756 and Schedules 24 to 26 Income and Corporation Taxes Act (ICTA) 1988 (old CFC Rules).

All CFC applications and supporting documentation such as accounts should be sent electronically to and copied to the UK group’s Customer Relationship Manager or Customer Co-ordinator. No paper copies of an application are needed.

If the UK group doesn’t have an email protocol with HMRC or if there has been no previous UK presence (for example when a foreign group is migrating its headquarters into the UK) it will be necessary to indicate in the application that the group or company is content to receive any reply by email. Otherwise a reply will be sent by post.

If it isn’t possible to send applications for clearance electronically, applications should be sent to the following address:

HM Revenue and Customs
Business, Assets and International
Foreign Profits Team Registry (CFC clearances)
Room 3C/21
100 Parliament Street


Investing in the UK

Inward Investment Support service

You can find more information on Inward Investment including contact details on the GOV.UK website, if you would like to discuss the tax implications of your investment.

Business Investment Relief Provisions

There is a Business Investment Relief Advance Assurance checklist available if you want to ask HMRC for their view on whether a proposed investment can be treated as a qualifying investment as defined in section 809VC of Income Tax Act (ITA) 2007.

All applications for advance clearance on Business Investment Relief should be sent to:

Wealthy and Mid-sized Business Compliance
HM Revenue and Customs

Telephone: 03000 565 250

Creative Industries

The specialist staff at the Creative Industries Unit can give you advice on the workings of the scheme as it applies to Film Tax, Animation Tax, High-end Television Tax and Video Games Development Reliefs. You can contact them using the following details:

Creative Industries Unit (Film, Television, Animation and Video Games Tax Reliefs)
Local Compliance S0717
PO Box 3900
G70 6AA

Telephone: 03000 510 191

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

The specialist staff at the Small Company Enterprise Centre can give you advice on the workings of these schemes, as well as providing non-statutory advance assurance to companies seeking investment under these schemes. You can contact them using the following details:

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

Telephone: 0300 123 1083

Other non-statutory clearances

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

Statutory clearance or approval

Qualifying life assurance policies

Schedule 15 ICTA 1988

You should send applications to approve certification of qualifying life assurance policies to:

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

Telephone: 03000 585 911

Transactions in shares or debentures

Section 765 and section 765A ICTA 1988

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 of which can be read in HMRC’s International Manual.

Transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements)

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

HMRC issued Statement of Practice (SP) 2 (2010) in December 2010 to update the earlier SP3 (1999) on Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). The SP is intended as general guidance to 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 relating to any one or more of the following:

Where clearance is required under any one or more of the above provisions, you should send a letter to the Clearance and Counteraction Team either by post or email. Please make clear at the top of your letter what clearances you are asking for. HMRC will reply to all the provisions outlined in your letter.

Application by post or email

HM Revenue and Customs
CTIS Clearance S0483
NE98 1ZZ


Attachments to emails should be no larger than 2MB. Please don’t send self-extracting zip files as HMRC software will block them.

The security of emails you send to HMRC or those that HMRC sends to you over the internet can’t be guaranteed. It’s important that you have assessed the risks of using email to send or to receive information. If you use email to send information, you do so at your own risk.

If you have any doubt about the authenticity of an email you receive which claims to come from the Clearance and Counteraction Team, please phone to check.

If you would like HMRC to reply by email please say so and give 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 please adapt this wording as necessary.

If you email your application, please don’t send a paper copy.

Market sensitive applications

HMRC regards 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 please mark it for the attention of the team leader. For security reasons we will not send responses to market sensitive applications by email.

Please note 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 - please bear this in mind when planning transactions
  • we don’t handle applications for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) adjudications - read about getting HMRC advice on how SDLT will apply

Additionally, we don’t deal with non-statutory clearances. You should send these to:

HM Revenue and Customs
Non-Statutory Clearance Team
5th Floor
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
Southend on Sea
SS99 1AA


General advice on specialist technical areas of taxation

Statements of Practice

Extra Statutory Concessions

Notices for VAT, and Customs and Excise

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

Published 28 June 2011
Last updated 12 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Under headings 'Company migrations' and 'Controlled Foreign Companies' there are updates to addresses and email link.
  2. The address and telephone number have been revised under Section 'Investing in the UK'.
  3. Contact details for Expression of Interest in an APA and for making an APA application have been removed.
  4. Contact details for Transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements) has been updated.
  5. Under the heading 'Business Investment Relief' the address has been updated.
  6. Small Company Enterprise Centre Telephone number changed to 0300 123 1083.
  7. Amendments made to 'Statutory applications for advance clearance' section.
  8. First published.