Code Of Practice 9

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HMRC carry out investigations using Code of Practise 9 for cases where suspected serious fraud is present. The department within HMRC who deals with these sorts of enquiries are Specialist Investigations (SI) or Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) teams.

The Civil Investigation of Fraud procedure using COP9 was re-written on 31 January 2012 and is now known as the Contractual Disclosure Facility. 

What you should know

  • An enquiry under COP9, means that the taxpayer has immunity against criminal prosecution for tax offences committed. HMRC are working towards a civil settlement of tax.  HMRC will go as far back as they suspect fraud has been committed which can be 20 years.
  • HMRC can withdraw a COP9 at any stage if false statements are made or materially false documents are provided with intent to deceive HMRC. HMRC may then conduct a criminal investigation.
  • HMRC will request a meeting at the start of a COP9 enquiry where you are obliged to attend with your representative. At this meeting you will be asked numerous questions where you the taxpayer will make an outline disclosure of the tax irregularities.
  • HMRC then ask that you commission a disclosure report that they recommend be done by a specialist.
  • HMRC then step back and look to your advisors for updates and you work together with your advisor to prepare the disclosure report.  This generally will take six months and in some cases longer but HMRC will push for submission within six months of the COP9 meeting.

  • The disclosure report will contain:

  • Personal and business history
  • Nature of irregularities and how they occurred.
  • Documentation and statements supporting information given in connection with the irregularities
  • Full details and explanations of any estimates or assumptions made within the report.
  • A schedule of the irregularities broken down into each tax year.
  • A statement of personal assets and liabilities.
  • A statement of bank and credit cards operated.

How Panacea Tax can help you

We have many years experience in dealing with CIF investigations, through all its evolution back to the days when it was dealt with by the Enquiry Branch of the Inland Revenue under what was then called ‘Hansard procedure’.  In dealing with so many investigations we have developed our particular methodology, which combines technical expertise with our own brand of personal service and support for our clients through what is always a trying experience.

Because we have handled so many disclosures, we are able to deploy tried and tested standard methodologies which we have developed over the years.  This increases our efficiency and enables us to deliver better value for money to you.  You are not paying for anybody’s learning curve.

Although our team are highly skilled tax experts, we believe in personal service.  We also know that a good working relationship with our clients is a vital tool in achieving a great result as cost-effectively as possible. We would always recommend to clients that they choose an advisor who is both technically expert, but who they also feel comfortable with on a personal level.