From 31 January 2012, all new cases of suspected serious tax fraud fall under the new Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) regime. If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) believes that you have committed serious tax evasion, it will write and invite you to sign up to the new disclosure facility by way of a contract.
The contract represents an agreement between you and HMRC. In return for your cooperation and full disclosure of your omitted taxes, it agrees not to prosecute you. The cooperation has to last until the disclosure is complete, and HMRC will expect you to adhere to strict time limits. Failure to meet deadlines without good reason could result in HMRC withdrawing the agreement and commencing a criminal investigation into your affairs.
If you have received one of these letters then you have only 60 days to respond with a written disclosure. You should seek expert advice in the first instance to understand what HMRC thinks you have done wrong. We will be able to talk through your tax affairs with you and help to identify any issues you may have, and how you can put those issues right.
The CDF is also available for people who believe they may not have paid all the taxes that they owe, and would like to sort out their tax affairs. You can apply to enter into the CDF and make a full disclosure of any omitted taxes. There is now a form available online for this purpose. We strongly recommend that you seek expert advice before approaching HMRC to make sure you have a complete understanding of your tax affairs and the CDF. HMRC is under no obligation to grant the terms of the facility to people who approach it and may still criminally investigate. We are able to advise you on the best way to secure the Code of Practice 9 protection and avoid a higher risk investigation. If you have received a letter about the CDF or wish to make a disclosure, you can call us now for a free consultation on 0845 868 2050.