Serious Tax Investigations Including Code Of Practice 8 And 9

Code of practice 9 (COP 9) is issued where HMRC suspect tax fraud.

The Code of Practice 9 sets out the Fraud enquiry procedure.  On issuing COP9, HMRC offers a Contractual Disclosure Facility, whereby HMRC undertakes not to pursue a criminal investigation into any tax fraud disclosed, so long as you undertake to make a full disclosure of tax irregularities, under the Contractual Disclosure Facility.

The seriousness of investigations carried out under the COP9 Contractual Disclosure Facility procedure cannot be emphasised enough.

HMRC provide the following advice:

You are strongly advised to seek independent professional advice. If you already have an appointed adviser you should contact them immediately. However, many people find it helpful to appoint a specialist adviser who is familiar with this Code, in addition to their regular adviser.

Please contact Ghulam Alahi (ga@vision-consulting.net, telephone: 0208 554 2135) in confidence for a free consultation without any obligation.

The HMRC Investigation of Fraud Statement is as follows:

(i) The Commissioners of HMRC reserve complete discretion to pursue a Criminal investigation with a view to prosecution where they consider it necessary and appropriate.

(ii) In cases where a criminal investigation is not commenced, the Commissioners may decide to investigate using the Code of Practice 9 investigation of fraud procedure.

(iii) Under the investigation of fraud procedure, the recipient of Code of Practice 9 is given the opportunity to make a complete and accurate disclosure of all irregularities in their tax affairs.

(iv) Where the recipient fails to make a full disclosure of the tax frauds they have committed, the Commissioners reserve the right to commence a criminal investigation with a view to prosecution.

(v) In the course of the Code of Practice 9 investigation, if the recipient makes materially false or misleading statements, or provides materially false documents the Commissioners reserve the right to commence a criminal investigation into that conduct as a separate criminal offence.

Please visit the following link which provides further information about COP 9 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/admittingfraud/cop9.pdf

Code of practice 8 (COP 8)

The Code of Practice 8 explains how the Fraud and Avoidance section of the Specialist Investigations directorate of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) carry out investigations.

It applies to all investigations where the Civil Investigation of Fraud procedures (Code of Practice 9) are not used. Other sections of Specialist Investigations may also act under this Code from time to time.

Please visit the following link which provides further information about COP 8 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pdfs/cop8.pdf