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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 25/08


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Issued 1 May 2008

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

Who should read this business brief?

All businesses, business owners 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. Further details on the extended non-statutory clearances service that was implemented on 1 April 2008 can be found in Revenue and Customs Brief 20/08.

Today we start a trial of a further extension of the non-statutory clearances we provide to business owners in the area of inheritance tax business property relief.

Changes affecting business and business owners

From 1 May 2008, for a trial period of six months, clearances will be provided to business owners on the availability of inheritance tax business property relief (IHT-BPR) where there is material uncertainty over the interpretation of the law. For inheritance 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.

As part of the extended clearances service from 1 May 2008, we will publish new guidance on IHT-BPR clearances for business owners on the HMRC website (link to be incorporated).

Guidance for businesses seeking clearances on issues other than IHT-BPR can be found on the HMRC website.

Who do I contact?

All business owners and those acting on their behalf should send their applications relating to inheritance tax business property relief to:

IHT-BPR Clearances Team
Ferrers House
Castle Meadow Road

Email: IHT-BPR Clearances Team

Other business clearance applications should continue to be sent to a Client Relationship Manager or the HMRC Clearances Team as set out in Revenue and Customs Brief 20/08.

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 2008-05-04 02:54:31 in Tax Articles

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