What you need to know about the Code of Practice 9 (COP9)

Our tax consultants can help you resolve serious fraud cases

The procedure whereby HMRC undertakes not to pursue a criminal investigation in return for a full disclosure of all tax irregularities is contained in the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) as set out in the current Code of Practice 9 (COP9).

Investigations under the CDF are carried out by the Special Investigations (SI) offices and the Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) offices of HMRC. SI deal with cases where substantial amounts of tax or serious issues are at stake. CIF take responsibility where the sums may be smaller, but do not be lulled into a false sense of security. The settlements are still for significant amounts and HMRC is not averse to prosecuting for relatively small sums to make a point.

  • complete and return the acceptance letter and outline disclosure form within 60 days. If HMRC suspects that there are important omissions from the outline disclosure, it will not be considered ‘valid’
  • provide, at the end of the investigation,
    • a certified statement confirming that you have made a full, complete and accurate disclosure of all tax irregularities
    • certified statements of your assets and liabilities
    • certified statements of all the bank accounts and credit cards you have operated.

Apart from the most straightforward cases, the disclosure will usually be dealt with by way of a report. Whichever office offers you the CDF, it is essential that the disclosure is dealt with properly and is full and complete. Not only will this help avoid a criminal prosecution, it can also help secure other advantages, such a lower penalties and not having your name published as a deliberate defaulter.

HMRC recognises the value of a specialist adviser in these cases and recommends that you appoint one. HMRC wants to collect the right amount of money as quickly as it can with the minimum of effort and will penalise those it feels are jeopardising the process.

How we can help

Our tax consultants understand that dealing with Code of Practice 9 (COP9) cases will be unfamiliar territory for many accountants.

Our team has extensive experience of helping clients who have received a COP9 letter. We can prepare a disclosure report under the Contractual Disclosure Facility and negotiate settlement of the enquiry.

As a result, clients reach the end of the process with minimum disruption to their lives and businesses.

For a FREE initial discussion on how we might be able to help you, or to arrange an initial meeting on a no cost/no obligation basis, please call us on 01455 897 267.