Code of Practice 9 - Tax fraud investigation

tba COP9 advice and assistance

A Code of Practice 9 or COP 9 is generally considered to be among the most serious type of tax fraud investigation.

HMRC will undertake tax fraud investigation under COP9 when they have reason to suspect there has been serious tax evasion or fraud......

What is a Code of Practice 9 Investigation?

In a nutshell, a HMRC COP9 investigation of tax fraud can cover all the main taxes, it's an investigation into suspected tax fraud which is carried out by specialist, highly trained divisions within HMRC. If you are on the receiving end of a tax fraud investigation letter from HMRC you will be given the chance to agree to the COP9 process. This means you will need to provide full cooperation with the COP9 investigation which will include a complete disclosure of all tax irregularities in exchange for HMRC to not prosecute you for the tax offence. A report (CDF) of all the tax irregularities will need to be drawn up and provided to HMRC within 60 days.

Don't panic!

If you have received a tax fraud investigation letter the first thing to do is seek professional advice, HMRC will continue their investigation whether you have sought advice or not but they strongly recommend you do as a matter of urgency.  

Don't be embarrassed

No judgement here - at turpin barker armstrong we are not fussed as to what has sparked the COP9 tax investigation, all we are interested in is getting the required information to HMRC (CDF report) within the time frame they have set out in order to protect you from a criminal prosecution. Our experts will take away your direct involvement with HMRC, as well as taking away the stress and huge worry a tax investigation letter can cause.

100% success rate

Our 100% success rate on tax disclosure reports with HMRC means you can leave the mistakes in the past and look to the future to get things dealt with - all in the strictest of confidence.

If required, we can meet or talk with you outside of office hours, any information is completely confidential, we are here to assist you through what can be a very troubling time.  

We provide an initial consultation service which is completely free of charge and without obligation.

Our short informative video showcases how we can guide you through the whole process....

How we at turpin barker armstrong can help

Due to the seriousness of these tax fraud investigations, HMRC encourage those under COP 9 investigation to appoint professional advisors to help guide them through the process and to offer advice, assistance and support throughout. This support is exactly what we provide to anyone who faces a tax investigation from HMRC.

A COP 9 process offers the chance to avoid prosecution but it is essential that help and advice be taken at the earliest opportunity due to the deadlines that come with it, we are able to prepare the necessary documentation required by HMRC for you. As your COP9 advisors, we manage the case for you, your involvement will be provide us with any information we need, we will communicate directly with HMRC on your behalf. 

Tax investigation specialists 

HMRC expects high standards from your chosen professional tax investigation advisor; here at turpin barker armstrong we have considerable experience helping people who receive a tax investigation letter in the post, we understand how worrying and stressful these times can be.

It is highly recommended that a professional advisor is present at each meeting with HMRC to provide guidance and support in ensuring the individual is treated fairly, and their best interests are protected. Working closely with you, turpin barker armstrong offer a comprehensive service to ensure that from the initial point of contact, right through to the eventual conclusion of the investigation, you are professionally represented at all times. Typically a COP9 investigation lasts between 2-7 years therefore choosing the right advisor is crucial in securing the right outcome.

Providing a good report to HMRC is considered critical in determining the correct amount of tax and duties payable, together with assisting you to mitigate interest and penalties assessable. Whereas a badly prepared report may potentially increase a taxpayer's eventual liability, and also the risk of criminal prosecution!

We understand from experience how distressing a tax fraud investigation of this nature can be. Through our expertise and experience we are ideally placed to work alongside you, liaising with HMRC on your behalf, and helping to bring the investigation to a prompt conclusion.

The Key Points of Tax Fraud Investigation

Following initial contact from HMRC, you will have a statutory 60 day time period, to decide whether you want to comply with the terms of the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDT). HMRC will not point out specifically where the tax fraud has occurred therefore it is imperative to be 100% honest and upfront from this point onwards. Hiding further information from HMRC will only cause further investigation and potential criminal prosecutions against you.

This will involve: -

  • Preparing and submitting an initial ‘Outline Disclosure’ of all known areas where tax irregularities are thought to have arisen.
  • Sign a formal statement to confirm to HMRC that the information provided is accurate and complete.
  • To agree to pay all taxes, duties, interest and penalties due.
  • To stop any evasion with immediate effect.
Following this 60 day period, you are then invited to attend an initial interview with HMRC officials, at which point formal questioning will be undertaken. At this meeting opportunity will be given to discuss matters incorporated within the initial Outline Disclosure, and to agree to make a full and complete disclosure of all known irregularities in your tax affairs over the last 20 years.

HMRC will then formally instruct you to produce a full 'Disclosure Report', which will include a brief business history, the nature and extent of all tax irregularities identified (where applicable), and how they arose, together with a wealth of information, summaries, third party responses, as deemed necessary to ultimately quantify the correct levels of tax and/or duties due and payable.

Furthermore you are also obliged to submit a certified statement of ‘worldwide’ assets and liabilities, together with certificates of all bank / building society accounts, and credit cards operated, throughout the period covered by the Disclosure Report.

Usually HMRC has an expectation of receiving the Disclosure Report within six months following the date of the opening meeting.

COP 9 Accountants

We offer a truly personal service at a sensitive time when it is most needed; our fee structures are extremely competitive.

If you have received a tax investigation letter from HMRC and would like to discuss how we might be able to assist you please rest assured conversations are done in the strictest of confidence. We can call you at a time convenient to you or schedule a meeting if you would prefer.  An initial consultation is completely free of charge and without obligation.

Please contact Dean Clark FCCA on 020 8661 7878 or email or   to complete our contact form

You can be assured that all information will be treated in the strictest of confidence

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