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HMRC internal manual

International Exchange of Information Manual

Exchange of tax rulings: What is a ruling?

IEIM510100: Exchange of tax rulings: What is a ruling?

There are two definitions of rulings for the purposes of exchange of information, one agreed at the OECD under Action 5 (IEIM540100) and the other at the EU as part of an amendment to the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC) (the Directive 2015/2376/EU which amends the Directive 2011/16/EU; IEIM550100).

Both the definitions are based on the same concept: that of a specific customer (or group of customers) being entitled to rely on the advice, information or undertaking provided by a tax authority concerning their tax situation. 

Both Action 5 and the DAC also require the exchange of APAs, including advance thin capitalisation agreements.  There is further guidance on the definition of APA for this purpose at IEIM520200 (there is guidance on transfer pricing at INTM410000).

Some rulings will need to be exchanged under Action 5 as well as under the amended Directive.  There is further guidance at IEIM560000+.

For guidance on general points that apply to both, see IEIM520010.