In situations where HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) suspects fraud or dishonesty across both direct or indirect taxes, as an alternative to a criminal investigation, HMRC can investigate using the procedure known as the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) under Code of Practice (COP9).
The aim of the CDF is to offer the person under investigation the opportunity to disclose all irregularities to HMRC, in return for a guarantee that HMRC will not pursue a criminal prosecution for any tax offences that have occurred. Where a person denies any irregularities or makes an incomplete disclosure, HMRC retains the right to criminally prosecute any fraudulent or dishonest irregularities.
The CDF can only be offered by appropriately trained HMRC investigators who only undertake civil investigations and are part of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service.
As the amounts of duty HMRC believes to be at stake is significant and/or the seriousness of the offence warrants COP9 investigation, it needs to be appreciated that this is not a process HMRC offers lightly. Appropriate skilled professional support is therefore highly recommended in any situation where HMRC refers to the CDF and/or COP9 and indeed HMRC’s COP9 leaflet strongly advises a taxpayer to seek independent professional advice.
Mazars National Tax Investigations Group includes former HMRC investigators with extensive experience of the CDF and COP9 procedure in both HMRC and also private practice, and we have an excellent track record of obtaining successful outcomes for clients who have been investigated under COP9. Please contact us for a free of charge no obligation discussion if you are subject to a COP9 investigation to discuss how we can support you.
Please contact our team either by:
Sending a message via our Tax investigations national contacts
or phone on 020 7063 4639, 0161 238 9235 or 0121 232 9519