Contractual Disclosures and COP9The Code of Practice 9 (Civil Investigation of Suspected Serious Fraud) procedures are probably the most serious type of investigation undertaken by HMRC short of prosecutions. COP9 is reserved for more specialised tax Investigations teams. When a serious fraud is suspected HMRC may offer the use of the Contractual Disclosure Facility which is under the auspices of COP9 and is usually issued after lengthy reviews and with strong evidence that tax offences may have occurred leading to a significant loss of tax. In most cases the expectation is that the yield (tax, interest and penalties) should exceed £75,000 and in all probability should be approaching higher levels to and exceeding £500,000. Those with serious issues to disclose can also voluntarily ask HMRC to use the CDF but either way COP9 requires the preparation of a full and complete disclosure of all tax irregularities or face prosecution for fraud. Managed correctly this remains an opportunity to avoid prosecution and a criminal record. Furthermore, there are opportunities to obtain significant reductions in penalties and to keep any further intervention byHMRC to an absolute minimum. A properly considered and crafted disclosure report will secure protection from prosecution but conversely an incorrect or incomplete report will increase the associated risk of prosecution or at minimum higher penalties. We have considerable experience in dealing with these matters; this experience will be working for you. We can help you understand what is required of you, by HMRC and by us, and we will manage the whole process on your behalf; reducing the need for you to be interviewed by HMRC officers as much as possible. We know what HMRC expect and what they can and cannot do. We will investigate all matters, as necessary, to produce, on your behalf, an effective disclosure report, limiting the work HMRC may wish to normally undertake including any need for them to involve third parties such as your banks, customers or business associates. We remain completely objective throughout the entire process; as will our advice and we will always present a robust defence of your position wherever possible. You will be informed and consulted at every stage. All disclosures and any settlement proposals will be discussed and agreed with you before submission to HMRC. Our specialist knowledge and experience can also help us to achieve the best possible financial outcome on your behalf and as quickly as possible. We shall negotiate with HMRC for the best possible resolution and mitigation of penalties.
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