HMRC clearance applications ― overview

Produced by Tolley

The following Corporation Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • HMRC clearance applications ― overview
  • Statutory clearances
  • Sending the clearance
  • Non-statutory clearances
  • Appeals against clearances
  • HMRC guidance on clearances
  • Statutory approvals

HMRC clearance applications ― overview

There are three main types of clearances available:

  1. statutory clearances

  2. non-statutory clearances

  3. statutory approvals

HMRC will usually respond within 30 days for statutory clearance applications and within 28 days for non-statutory clearances, though this can take longer in more complex cases. Companies and their advisers should note that it is possible for clearance to take much longer than the normal turnaround. Indeed, in ‘Delays ahead’ in Taxation, 4 March 2021, 18, Pete Miller discusses his own recent experience of delays in HMRC granting statutory clearance under TCGA 1992, s 138, sometimes even in the case of simple reconstructions. Advisers should be aware of the potential of encountering similar delays with HMRC and factor these into the relevant transaction timetable.

Statutory clearances

Statutory clearances are clearance procedures provided for in the legislation. There are a number of statutory clearances available. Some of these are dealt with regularly by tax advisers and so these are covered in more detail below.

Clearances under the following provisions should be sent in a single letter to HMRC’s Clearance and Counteraction Team:

  1. CTA 2010, s 1091 (demergers), see the Demerger clearances guidance note

  2. CTA 2010, s 1044 (purchase of own shares), see the Purchase of own shares clearances and reporting guidance

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