Special Investigations – Code of Practice 9 (COP9)
Any matter being dealt with by HMRC under Code of Practice (COP9),
which is sometimes referred to as “Hansard”, is a most serious matter. In a
nutshell HMRC require the subject of their investigation to make a full and
complete disclosure of all tax irregularities or face prosecution for fraud.
These cases are generally reserved for officers within Special Investigations
(SI) teams. These officers are experienced and knowledgeable specialists.
This process is now partially encapsulated into the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) which enables HMRC to formally offer the opportunity to
make disclosures under Code of Practice 9 (COP9) or for individuals to ask for
that opportunity to be given.
However sometimes HMRC may not offer the CDF and may wish to investigate
matters themselves under the auspices of COP9.
The subjects under investigation may be individuals, their spouse or
partner, businesses or companies, other family members of associates or fellow
business partners or directors; which may mean that some cases have many areas
of tax to consider and many ‘participants’ to consider them for.
Managed correctly a COP9 investigation case still 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 by H M Revenue & Customs to an absolute minimum. At the
end of the process any general tax affairs will be up to date and cleared so
that those involved can make a fresh start with real certainty for the future.
There are, however, many pitfalls for the inexperienced or under prepared and
the protection offered under COP9 will be withdrawn if HMRC believe any information
provided is deficient or misleading; our specialists have very considerable
experience in dealing with these specific matters. You can be assured this experience is working
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; we
will investigate all matters, as necessary, to produce, on your behalf, an
effective disclosure of all material matters and, where possible, 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 and 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.
For a confidential, no commitment discussion about your concerns please call us on
01283 761 777 or email us using our Email Enquiry Form