Code of Practice 9 (COP9) and Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)


Have you received a letter from HMRC telling you that it is investigating your tax affairs under Code of Practice 9?
Has HMRC asked you to make a full disclosure of your tax affairs?
Are you being investigated under the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you need expert advice.

A COP9 tax investigation under the CDF is HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) method of tackling suspected cases of serious tax fraud. If 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.

We will review your tax position and work with you to complete a report addressing HMRC's areas of concern. We will attend meetings with HMRC on your behalf and will negotiate the question of omitted tax and penalties to ensure you do not pay more than you owe.

The COP 9 procedure can be stressful, intrusive and prolonged. We will help make the process as quick and pain free as possible so you can complete your disclosure and move on. We have a strong track record of resolving prolonged disputes with HMRC's Special Investigations and Civil Investigation of Fraud teams.

It does not matter where you are in the process, we can provide a fresh approach and a much needed solution.

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.