An investigation under the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) or Code of Practice 9 (COP9) is the highest level of non-criminal investigation that HMRC conduct. Because of that, we would always advocate that expert advice is sought at the outset.
A CDF or COP9 investigation is how HMRC deal with cases of suspected tax fraud. Where HMRC merely suspect you have committed tax fraud, they will contact you under the CDF process and ask you to initially disclose in outline your fraud by completing their contract.
The outline contract is a formal agreement between you and HMRC saying what you’ve done wrong. In exchange for your full disclosure, your cooperation and your full financial settlement HMRC agree at the start of the process to not seek criminal prosecution for your frauds disclosed. Your cooperation must last throughout the disclosure investigation. Your cooperation will include appointing an investigation specialist to produce a “disclosure report” of all tax failures for you to provide HMRC with the full picture. HMRC impose tight deadlines on filing this report and failing to adhere to these deadlines can lead to HMRC withdrawing the opportunity and beginning a detailed investigation into your affairs, which could include criminal action.
If you have received a CDF or COP9 letter you only have 60 days to respond with your written outline disclosure – with no extensions! We would strongly suggest that you must seek expert advice at the start as this is the most crucial stage.
A CDF or COP9 investigation is serious and is often stressful. Whilst HMRC may make it intrusive and prolonged, we work with clients to avoid that. As former COP9 Inspectors within HMRC, we have an unrivalled record of successfully dealing HMRC's Special Investigations and Civil Investigation of Fraud teams, the specialist Departments within HMRC who deal with CDF and COP9 work.
Even where we have not been involved from the very start, our involvement will give “fresh eyes” to such investigations and we will navigate a conclusion. As well as direct client investigations, we have a long track record helping independent accountants through this process and they often value our “helping hand” approach.
The CDF or COP9 route is also available if you have not paid all your taxes and want to bring your affairs up to date voluntarily. We often help people to undertake this approach. We do though strongly advocate expert advice before approaching HMRC under the CDF of COP9 process as it is serious and the more beneficial Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility may be a preferable route.
How can we help?
We have been dealing with HMRC related troubles for over 50 years, having dealt with hundreds of cases both as former HMRC Investigators and assisting and supporting clients in our time in practice. Our clients tell us that they value our extensive knowledge and genuine “hands on” approach to any matter involving HMRC disputes and difficulties.
We operate nationally, or internationally, and are not tied to our desks. We believe in giving a no nonsense level of support with affordable fees and costs. Our pricing structure is affordable, and we will fixed budgets for our engagements avoiding the traditional open-ended, "on the clock" approach of larger firms and our competitors.
To discuss this with us on a non-judgmental, discrete and no cost basis call our helpline 0800 001 6686 or contact us today.
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