Having regard to the above, it is a coincidence that HMRC have now published CAP1 setting out the circumstances in which non-business taxpayers can obtain advice from HMRC on their interpretation of recent tax legislation. This is not the complete answer of course as it is restricted only to legislation passed in the last four years – although they do say they will give a view on earlier legislation where the subject or circumstances are not covered in their published guidance.  

HMRC will respond in respect of a transaction which has already been undertaken or one which is proposed but they do expect you to have considered the published guidance first. If they consider that there is no genuine point of uncertainty, they will explain why and identify the relevant guidance.  

They will not respond in respect of transactions which they feel are for the purpose of avoiding tax or simply to give tax planning advice or to approve a tax planning product.  

You may not agree with their view and you can ignore it if you wish, but you do need to be careful that an appropriate disclosure is made in your Tax Return. You will by then have been made aware of HMRC taking a contrary view and it could be regarded as careless conduct to disregard it without explaining why – assuming of course that HMRC are found to be correct.