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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

Transfer pricing: methodologies: Advance Pricing Agreements: formal application


  1. Where, following HMRC’s indication that it is willing to consider the APA proposal, the business wishes to proceed, it should submit a formal written application within 6 months or such longer period explicitly agreed at the expression of interest meeting. This APA application should also be copied to the business’ primary business contact at HMRC - usually the business’ Customer Compliance Manager. If there is a delay in submitting a written application HMRC reserves the right to not accept it.
  2. SP02/10- Advance Pricing Agreement Annex 1 to this document contains full details of the information that should be incorporated in the formal application. HMRC may, in practice, agree to be flexible with such requirements where the circumstances of the particular case mean that a different approach will make for a better process. In a bilateral case, HMRC is often able to agree to work from the same format application as is mandated by the other Administration’s procedures. These are issues best discussed with HMRC at the Expression of Interest stage.  The application should ideally be made before the start of the first chargeable period proposed to be covered by the APA, but HMRC may exercise discretion over this, for instance, when a bilateral is sought and the other Administration is prepared to allow the business more time to lodge its’ application.
  3. In the case of a bilateral APA the business will be expected to ensure that all information provided in the application supplied to one Administration is made available at the same time to the other Administration involved.
  4. APA information is subject to the same rules of confidentiality as any other information about taxpayers. Information exchanged with treaty partners—for instance, in the course of reaching agreement on bilateral APAs—is also protected from disclosure by the terms of the Exchange of Information Article in the relevant DTA. Therefore in complying with its obligations under the EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation, 2015/2376/EU, HMRC will not disclose the details of a bilateral APA reached with a jurisdiction that is not a Member State of the EU. It will however disclose the relevant details of the formal application.