Obtaining clearance from HMRC

By Tolley

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

  • Obtaining clearance from HMRC
  • When can clearance be obtained?
  • Information required
  • Penalties and interest
  • Relying on HMRC’s advice or information
  • Appealing against a decision
  • EU cross-border VAT rulings trial

This guidance note provides an overview of how to obtain non-statutory clearance from HMRC that can be used by businesses and their advisors. It also provides details of theEU cross border ruling trial.

When can clearance be obtained?

HMRC will expect a business to have checked that thetransaction is not covered by a more appropriate clearance or approval route and to have checked all relevant HMRC guidance to see whether it can obtain theanswer before using this service.

Businesses or their advisers can request clearance from HMRC if:

  • it still cannot determine thecorrect treatment after contacting thehelp desk and / or reviewing all of therelevant written information / guidance published by HMRC
  • the business has not be able to find any relevant information published by HMRC
  • the business or its adviser remain unclear or uncertain about HMRC’s interpretation of legislation that has recently been introduced
When HMRC will not give clearance

HMRC will not give clearance in thefollowing situations:

  • the business has not provided all of thenecessary information - businesses should use thechecklists provided below to help ensure that all relevant information has been provided
  • HMRC do not consider that there are genuine points of uncertainty. HMRC should direct thebusiness to any relevant online guidance which they believe will answer thequery.
  • HMRC considers that it is being asked to give tax planning advice or to grant approval for tax planning products / arrangements
  • HMRC considers that theapplication is about treatment of transactions which have been designed for tax avoidance
  • HMRC is

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