Template letters: disagreement with customers interpretation
Please ensure that the text of this letter is correctly inserted into the appropriate letterhead for your line of business and carefully adapted as indicated in the body of the letter.
Please note, this letter is not to be used where we are rejecting the clearance on the basis that we believe that the transaction is primarily motivated to gain a tax advantage. You should use the rejection letter for that, see ONSCG6250.
Where replying on a NICs related clearance, any reference to tax should be expanded as appropriate to cover tax and NICs.
Caseworker or CCM’s address, plus phone, email
For the attention of
Business or Advisor’s name & address
Our ref: [Any reference number allocated locally.]
Your ref: [Any customer reference from their correspondence]
Clearance ref: [Clearance reference allocated by Southend]
Clearance application received… [date received in HMRC - day 1 of the 28 days]
Thank you for your recent correspondence. You asked me to consider… [set out (1) the point of uncertainty on which the customer asked our view in their application and (2) the view/interpretation that the customer set out in their application, so it’s clear what you are responding to. If the applicant’s letter is set out clearly, consider providing a reference to the point or paragraph in their letter where the question was set out]
I am unable to agree [either with your interpretation of the tax consequences or that x applies].
[Please note, this letter is not to be used where we are rejecting the letter on the basis that we believe that the transaction is primarily motivated to gain a tax advantage. Use the ‘rejection’ letter for that. See ONSCG6250.]
It is my view that [set out your view of the tax consequences, including further information to confirm HMRC’s view e.g. being as clear as possible about how the legislation and technical guidance relates to the customer’s specific circumstances and how we will interpret the legislation. Make specific reference to guidance or legislation where relevant.]
This clearance letter reflects HMRC’s view of the tax consequences of the specific [transaction/circumstances] as set out in your letter dated [xxx]. You [your client] are entitled to act on the basis of our view or on the basis of your [their] own view of the appropriate tax treatment and self-assess accordingly.
The view expressed in this letter is not for general application. If you [your client] wish to apply this ruling more generally, you should discuss this with HMRC. This ruling only relates to the specific circumstances and facts that you have let us know about, and to HMRC’s current view of how the legislation applies, which HMRC specifically reserves the right to change in the future. Where you [your clients] apply this view more generally, or where HMRC suspect tax avoidance, HMRC reserves the right to review the tax consequences of these transactions and to form another view.
In the vast majority of cases a clearance we give will be correct in law and therefore binding on HMRC. However there are some circumstances which mean that we can no longer be bound by a clearance we have given.
Please read the section ‘When you can rely on information or advice provided by HMRC’ in our guidance ‘Non-statutory clearance service guidance’ for full information on when you can rely on information or advice from us. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/non-statutory-clearance-service-guidance.
Name of caseworker
Title/role within HMRC
Direct line phone number