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HMRC internal manual

Other Non-Statutory Clearance Guidance

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 CRM’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]

Dear …

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.]

The advice I have supplied is based on the facts and context of the transaction that you provided in your letter(s) relating to this clearance application. You are entitled to act on the basis of our view, or on the basis of your own view of the appropriate tax treatment, and self assess accordingly. We may review the tax consequences of the transaction to ensure that the activities of [the business] or the transaction itself were carried out as described in your clearance application.

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

The clearance response applies to you [‘or your client’ as appropriate], as the applicant, and to the specific transaction about which you asked for advice. There is no precedent value for the advice set out in this letter that could be applied for other transactions that you might carry out [‘or other customers’ as appropriate].

Yours sincerely

Name of caseworker

Title/role within HMRC

Direct line phone number