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HMRC internal manual

Non-statutory Clearance Guidance

Introduction: what is a non-statutory clearance

A non-statutory clearance is written confirmation of HMRC’s view of the application of tax law to a specific transaction or event that a customer can rely on in most circumstances.

This guidance deals only with non-statutory clearances. Clearances specifically provided for by legislation continue to be dealt with under existing arrangements, see NSCG1200.

Caseworkers dealing with statutory and non-statutory clearances for the same transaction should liaise as necessary.

The UK has certain international obligations to exchange information about rulings issued by HMRC.  These obligations arise out of bilateral treaties, the EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of Taxation (the DAC), and Action 5 of the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.  A non-statutory clearance is an agreement made between a tax authority and a customer, upon which the customer can rely. This makes it a “ruling” for international taxation purposes, meaning it is very likely to be exchangeable with another jurisdiction:

  1. automatically, under BEPS Action 5;
  2. automatically, under the DAC; or
  3. spontaneously, where it would be foreseeably relevant to advise another jurisdiction.

For more information, including whether, when, and how to exchange such rulings: please consult IEIM500000+ onwards. There may be information that you will need to collect from the customer, so it is important that you review the guidance on sharing rulings before you reply.