Advance clearances or approvals may be given to some transactions

  • You are here:
  • Home >
  • Seeking clearance or approval for a transaction

Seeking clearance or approval for a transaction

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may be able to provide advance clearance or approval to some transactions. You will find here a list of some of those transactions and the addresses to which you should send your applications.

Please note: HMRC won't give clearances or advice in respect of the application of the ‘settlements legislation’ in Chapter 5 Part 5 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 or the tax consequences of executing non-charitable trust deeds or settlements.

On this page:

  • statutory clearance or approval
    • employee share schemes
    • pensions
    • qualifying life assurance policies
    • transfers of long term business between life assurance companies
    • transactions in shares or debentures
    • transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements)
    • statutory applications for advance clearance

Clearances and the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR)

HMRC will not give either formal or informal clearances that the GAAR does not apply.

HMRC has always made it clear that no assurances about the tax treatment of a transaction will be given in any situation where, in HMRC's view, the arrangements constitute tax avoidance. Because the GAAR will only apply to abusive avoidance arrangements this applies equally to any arrangements which might be caught by the GAAR. As part of its model of direct engagement with large businesses and wealthy individuals HMRC discusses commercial arrangements and confirms where appropriate that it doesn't regard particular arrangements as tax avoidance. In these cases HMRC intends that open discussions with taxpayers about commercial transactions should continue.

Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks

A bank which adopts the Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks commits not to undertake any tax planning that achieves a tax result contrary to the intentions of Parliament. It should not, therefore, be involved in any arrangements to which the GAAR might apply. That doesn't mean that every arrangement outside the GAAR is regarded by HMRC as acceptable within the code. When approached by a bank under the code, Customer Relationship Managers will continue to give HMRC's view of whether a transaction is 'code compliant'.

Top

Non-statutory clearance or approval

Company migrations

Notification of company migration and approval of arrangements for payment of tax liabilities in accordance with S109B-F Taxes Management Act 1970 (previously S130 Finance Act 1988) (see Statement of Practice 2/90).

Send applications for clearance to:

Paul Metcalfe
HM Revenue & Customs
CTIS Business International, Foreign Profits Team
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

Telephone: 03000 542 587
Email: Paul Metcalfe

Read Statement of Practice (PDF 1.7MB)

Controlled Foreign Companies

Clearances in relation to Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) in accordance with Part 9A Taxation (International and Other Provisions) Act 2010 (new CFC rules) or with S747-756 and Schedules 24-26 Income and Corporation Taxes Act (ICTA) 1988 (old CFC Rules).

All CFC applications and supporting documentation such as accounts should be sent electronically to Mary Sharp and copied to the UK group's Customer Relationship Manager or Customer Co-ordinator. No paper copies of an application are needed.

If the UK group doesn't have an email protocol with HMRC or if there has been no previous UK presence (for example when a foreign group is migrating its headquarters into the UK) it will be necessary to indicate in the application that the group or company is content to receive any reply by email. Otherwise a reply will be sent by post.

If it isn't possible to send applications for clearance electronically, applications should be sent to the following address:

CTIS, Foreign Profits Team Registry (CFC clearances)
3rd floor
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

Telephone: 03000 585 623

Thinking of investing in the UK?

Inward Investment Support service

For more information on Inward Investment including contact details if you would like to discuss the tax implications of your investment follow the link below:

Read about the Inward Investment Support service

Business Investment Relief Provisions

If you want to ask HMRC to give you their view on whether a proposed investment can be treated as a qualifying investment as defined in section 809VC of Income Tax Act (ITA) 2007 then use the checklist below:

Business Investment Relief Advance Assurance checklist (PDF100k)

All applications for advance clearance on Business Investment Relief should be sent to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Business Investment Relief Team S1278
PO Box 202
Bootle
L69 9AL

Telephone: 03000 527 416
Email: Cameron Wilson

Creative Industries

The specialist staff at the Creative Industries Unit can give you advice on the workings of the scheme as it applies to Film Tax, Animation Tax, High-end Television Tax and Video Games Development Reliefs. You can contact them using the following details:

Creative Industries Unit (Film, Television/Animation and Video Games Tax Reliefs)
Local Compliance S0717
PO Box 3900
Glasgow
G70 6AA

Telephone: 03000 510 191
Email: Creative Industries Unit

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) scheme

The specialist staff at the Small Company Enterprise Centre can give you advice on the workings of these schemes, as well as providing non-statutory advance assurance to companies seeking investment under these schemes. You can contact them using the following details:

Small Company Enterprise Centre (Admin Team)
HM Revenue & Customs
Medvale House
Mote Road
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 6AF

Telephone: 03000 588 907

Other non-statutory clearances

You can find information on the clearance service offered by HMRC for customers and their advisers who need clarification on guidance or legislation in relation to a specific transaction by following the link below:

Other non-statutory clearance guidance

Top

Statutory clearance or approval

Employee share schemes

Under Schedules 2, 3 and 4, Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, send applications for approvals of Share Incentive Plans, Savings-Related Share Option Schemes and Company Share Option Plans to the address shown at the link below.

Contact details for the Employee Shares and Securities unit

Pensions

S590 and S591 ICTA 1988

You should send applications to approve occupational pensions, personal pensions, public sector schemes, Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions schemes and ex-gratia relevant payments to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Pension Schemes Services
FitzRoy House
Castle Meadow Road
Nottingham
NG2 1BD

Telephone: 0300 123 1079
Telephone from abroad +44 115 974 1600
Fax: 03000 564 568

Email: Pension Schemes Services

More about HMRC's Pension Schemes Services

Qualifying life assurance policies

Schedule 15 ICTA 1988

You should send applications to approve certification of qualifying life assurance policies to:

Darryl Wall
HM Revenue & Customs
CTISA Corporation Tax and Business Income Tax
Financial Services Team
3rd Floor
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

Telephone: 03000 585977
Fax: 020 7147 2641
Email: Darryl Wall

Transfers of long term business between life assurance companies

Under S133 FA 2012

Send all applications for clearance, including cases where the parties include non-UK resident companies or friendly societies to the transferor company's Customer Relationship Manager and to:

HM Revenue & Customs
CTISA Corporation Tax and Business Income Tax
Financial Services Team
3rd Floor
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

Telephone: 03000 585911

Alternatively you can send your applications by email to Anthony Fawcett.

Transactions in shares or debentures

Under S765 and S765A ICTA 1988

The Treasury Consents regime was repealed by Finance Act 2009. Events or transactions taking place on or after 1 July 2009 are subject to a new reporting regime, detail of which can be read in HMRC's International Manual.

Read the International Manual INT700000

Transfer pricing (advance pricing agreements)

HMRC has run an Advanced Pricing Agreements programme since 1999 to assist businesses in identifying solutions for complex transfer pricing issues.

HMRC issued Statement of Practice ('SP') 2/10 in December 2010 to update an earlier Statement of Practice (SP3/99) on Advance Pricing Agreements ('APAs'). The SP is intended as general guidance as to how HMRC interprets the APA legislation and how HMRC operates the UK APA Programme.

Read Statement of Practice (PDF 1.7MB)

The contact details for an Expression of Interest in an APA and for making an APA application in all cases is:

Dominic Vines (APA Team Leader)
HM Revenue & Customs
CTIS Business International
East Spur, Euston Tower,
286 Euston Road,
London NW1 3UH

Telephone: 03000 585 861
Fax: 03000 543 795

Email Dominic Vines

Statutory applications for advance clearance

HMRC's Clearance and Counteraction Team, Counter-Avoidance handles requests where advance clearance is required under statutory provisions relating to any one or more of the following:

Where clearance is required under any one or more of the above provisions then you should send a single letter to the Clearance and Counteraction Team, Counter-Avoidance at the address given below. No extra copy is required as the same person will deal with each of the clearances asked for. A single response will be given covering all of these.

Please make clear at the top of your letter what clearances you are asking for.

Please note the following points:

  • HMRC acknowledges only those applications that request an acknowledgement
  • if you wish to receive a reply by email please write 'I confirm that I understand and accept the risks involved in using email'. HMRC does not email market sensitive applications
  • if you're enquiring about the progress of an application or making general enquiries please contact HMRC by telephone: 03000 589 004. Please allow 10 days after receiving an acknowledgement before you contact to check progress
  • HMRC regards information that could affect the price of a stock market quoted company and information concerning the financial affairs of well known individuals as sensitive
  • in March, September and December HMRC receives high volumes of applications which increases turn around time. Please bear this in mind when applying during these times

Please ensure you mark a 'Market sensitive' application for the attention of 'The Team leader', and send it to:

HM Revenue & Customs
CA Clearance SO528
PO Box 194
Bootle
L69 9AA

Telephone: 03000 589 004
Fax: 03000 589 802
Email: Clearance and Counteraction Team

The Clearance and Counteraction Team does not handle applications for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) adjudications.

Read about obtaining HMRC advice on how SDLT will apply

Top

More useful links

General advice on specialist technical areas of taxation
Statements of Practice and Extra Statutory Concessions
Public Notices for VAT, and Customs and Excise
Revenue and Customs Briefs - policy changes resulting from legislation, litigation or policy reviews

Top