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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Particular topics: transactions in securities: response to a clearance application

HMRC are required to respond to a clearance application within 30 days of receipt.

If the particulars or any further information provided in support of the clearance application are insufficient to reach a decision, HMRC must notify the person what further information is required within 30 days.

HMRC will notify the person whether the Commissioners are satisfied that the transaction or transactions described were, or will be, such that no counteraction notice ought to be served in respect of the transaction or transactions.

HMRC will not give reasons for granting a clearance.  Every application is considered on its own merits.

For income tax purposes clearance is given under ITA07/S701.  If clearance is not granted HMRC will give reasons for this decision.  The effect of refusal of a clearance is explained in SP3/80.  There is no provision for appealing against the refusal.

The legislation provides that a clearance notification is void if the information in the application and any further particulars that have been requested about the transaction or transactions do not fully and accurately disclose all material facts and considerations relevant to making the decision.

Clearance is given on the understanding that the person has come to HMRC with “all cards face up on the table”.  In particular an applicant should not consider that information previously supplied to another part of HMRC has been disclosed for the purposes of the clearance application.

There is no provision for “voiding” a clearance.  Whether a clearance is, or is not, effective is ultimately a question of fact that would, ultimately, be determined by the Tribunal.

Where a clearance is void HMRC is free to apply, if appropriate, the relevant anti-avoidance provision.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)