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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 20/08


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Issued 1 April 2008

Extension of non-statutory clearances service for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) business customers

Who should read this business brief?

All businesses and those acting on behalf of business.


At Budget 2006, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a review, led by Sir David Varney, of the relationship between large business and HMRC.

The review team consulted with over 140 large businesses and trade and representative bodies and identified four key outcomes that would benefit both large business and HMRC:

  • greater certainty
  • an efficient risk based approach to dealing with tax matters
  • speedy resolution of issues
  • clarity through effective consultation and dialogue

The ‘Review of Links with Large Business’ report published in November 2006 outlined 14 key proposals that would together deliver these outcomes.

One of the proposals related to non-statutory clearances. A non-statutory clearance is written confirmation of our view of the application of tax law to a specific transaction or event.

At Pre-Budget Report 2007, we announced an extension of the non-statutory clearances we provide to all our business customers from April 2008.

Changes affecting business

From 1 April 2008 clearances will be provided across all business taxes regardless of the age of the legislation, where there is material uncertainty. For direct tax legislation older than the last four Finance Acts, there is a further requirement that the uncertainty relates to a commercially significant issue.

We will aim to respond to clearance applications within 28 calendar days, though in complex cases this may take longer.

In addition, as part of the extended clearances service from 1 April 2008, we will publish new guidance on clearances for our business customers, bringing together and updating existing guidance so as to provide a consistent and clear framework for clearance applications across HMRC. The guidance for businesses is available on the HMRC website.

Who do I contact?

Large Business Service (LBS) customers should continue to send their clearance applications to their Client Relationship Manager (CRM).

All other business customers, and those acting on behalf of a business, should send their applications to:

HMRC Clearances Team
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
Essex SS99 1BD

Email: HMRC Clearances Team

Comments on the guidance and the extended service can be sent to:

Emma Bailey
Tax Administration Policy
Central Policy
100 Parliament Street

Other guidance on information and advice

Code of Practice 10 (COP10) and Notice 700/6 VAT rulings will remain in place for our customers who are not covered by the new clearances process to provide guidance on how to seek information and advice from HMRC. We will be reviewing these documents over the next year to provide more consistent guidance on the information and advice available to our customers.

About the Author

© Crown Copyright 2008.

A licence is need to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs under the terms of a Click-Use Licence. Tax briefs are updated regularly and may be out of date at time of reading.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-04-02 16:07:55 in Tax Articles

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