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HMRC delays in company reconstruction clearances

02 March 2021 / Pete Miller
Issue: 4782 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Delays ahead

Key points

  • Has a relocation to Birmingham triggered a changed attitude in HMRC’s clearance facility?
  • The commercial purpose test and its relationship to corporate activities.
  • The Clark case held that there is no requirement for a connection between a company’s activities and the commercial purpose for a share transaction.
  • HMRC is applying a new test of necessity to the commercial purpose test.
  • Is a general intention not a sufficient specific commercial reason for a transaction?
  • Ensure that full details of relevant cases are included in correspondence to HMRC and the tribunal.
  • Delays in the clearance and tribunal process have adverse commercial impact.

Many readers may be aware of major changes in HMRC’s clearance facility over the past couple of years. Initially these appeared to be purely administrative – on the retirement of the long-time head of the clearance team HMRC had decided to transfer the unit to Birmingham...

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