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HMRC internal manual

International Exchange of Information Manual

Action 5 rulings: overview

IEIM540010: Action 5 rulings: Overview


As part of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, the OECD looked at countering harmful tax practices within Action 5.  One of the recommendation for this Action was improving transparency of tax rulings.

The Action 5 final report listed five types of rulings that those adopting the transparency framework would undertake to exchange automatically, with a placeholder for agreeing further types in the future (IEIM541010). 

The report is clear that none of the categories are in themselves harmful or necessarily give rise to base erosion or profit shifting. However any lack of transparency with regard to these types of rulings is likely to give rise to mismatches in tax treatment and increase the risks.

A more detailed overview of the definition of ruling for Action 5 is at IEIM540100.

Exchange of rulings meeting the conditions for this framework will apply for:

  • Any rulings meeting the conditions made on or after 1 April 2016
  • Rulings meeting the conditions made on or after 1 January 2010 and still in effect at 1 January 2014
  • Rulings given on or after 1 January 2014, and before 1 April 2016 whether or not still in effect (IEIM510550)