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HMRC internal manual

Non-statutory Clearance Guidance

Handling applications upon receipt: obligation to turn round clearances within 28 days

HMRC has given a commitment to customers making clearance applications, see Chapter 3 “Measuring our success”, that we will send our full response within 28 calendar days as the norm. It is recognised that in complex cases the clearance may take longer.

The 28 day time limit is calculated in calendar days from the day the application is first received by HMRC, treating the date of receipt as ‘day 1’.

Where a caseworker needs to request additional information from the applicant, the 28 day time limit is suspended from the date on which that information is requested until it is received by HMRC. Once an adequate reply is received from the customer the 28 day calculation restarts.

Occasionally we may not be able to send our full response within 28 calendar days. This may be, for example, because the application is very complex and requires advice from a number of specialists within HMRC. Where this is the case, the external guidance states that we will tell the applicant, and work with them to provide a response as soon as we can. Caseworkers should ensure that a revised reply date is agreed with the customer.