Clearance arrangements: how and when HMRC will respond to a clearance
Where a clearance application is received, HMRC will provide an acknowledgment on receipt and a full response within 28 calendar days as the norm. The response will:
- agree the customer’s interpretation of the legislation, or
- request further information, or
- reject their interpretation of the legislation, or
- not accept the application as outlined in the clearance or approval guidance.
Where the customer’s interpretation is rejected, a full explanation is to be provided using the template letters at ONSCG6000.
Where an application is not accepted it is important to provide a full explanation, referring to the appropriate part(s) of the external guidance, see ONSCG2500.
The customer is still entitled to act on the basis of their view of the appropriate tax treatment, and self-assess accordingly.
Further details on risk assessment of any return relating to the transaction are covered at ONSCG7400.
Occasionally a full response will not be possible within 28 calendar days, for example because the application is very complex and requires advice from a number of specialists within HMRC. In this situation, caseworkers should work with the customer to provide a response as soon as practical, ensuring that the customer is kept updated on progress.