Non-statutory clearances

The following Tax practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Non-statutory clearances
  • When is it appropriate to submit a NSC application?
  • Purpose of NSC applications and timing of HMRC's response
  • What should NSC applications not cover?
  • Content of a NSC application
  • Relying on NSC clearances
  • Practical considerations when HMRC's view differs from the taxpayer's view of the law

Non-statutory clearances

Coronavirus (COVID-19): HMRC are unable to accept non-statutory clearance applications made by post due to COVID-19. Applications for clearance should be submitted by email using the address in the relevant annex.

This Practice Note sets out:

  1. when it is appropriate to submit a non-statutory clearance (NSC) application within annex A to HMRC's guidance

  2. the purpose of NSC applications

  3. what a NSC application should not cover

  4. the content required by HMRC to be included in a NSC application

  5. when a clearance received from HMRC under the NSC procedure can be relied on, and

  6. practical considerations where HMRC's view and the taxpayer's view of the application of tax law to a transaction differ

The NSC procedure is the replacement for the non-statutory business clearance (NBC) and Clearances and Approvals 1 (CAP 1) procedure.

For a Precedent NSC letter, see: Clearance letter—non-statutory clearance.

In this Practice Note references to the applicant refer to the taxpayer even if an agent signs and submits the clearance application on the taxpayer's behalf.

When is it appropriate to submit a NSC application?

NSC clearances are available:

  1. for all taxpayers (both business and non-business)

  2. to apply for written confirmation of HMRC's interpretation of tax legislation and how that applies to their specific transaction or event

  3. in circumstances where the taxpayer has:

    1. fully considered HMRC's relevant guidance, such as statements of practice, the manuals and contacting the

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