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Trusted Advisers to Growing Businesses
Reliable | Passionate | Innovative

Code of Practice 9: Civil Investigation of Fraud (COP 9)

Are HMRC investigating you using Code of Practice 9 (Civil Investigation of Fraud)

Code of Practice 9 procedures are the most serious and worrying of all tax investigations (apart from criminal prosecutions).  COP 9 is titled:  Civil Investigation into Cases of Suspected Serious Fraud.  It is usually issued where HMRC are of the opinion or have strong evidence of tax being under-declared but has decided not to prosecute; if the taxpayer co-operates fully.

COP 9 investigations are carried out by only two specialist units in HMRC; the regional Civil Investigation of Fraud unit and the Specialist Investigations team.  Both are staffed by highly trained, experienced and committed tax fraud investigators.  Code of Practice 9 enquiries cover all taxes:  Corporation Tax, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, VAT and PAYE.

The Civil Investigation of fraud unit will only open a COP 9 if they believe they have firm evidence of serious tax evasion and the they can believe that the tax, interest and penalties will be a minimum of £75,000.  Specialist Investigations only work cases where they anticipate collecting over £500,000.
COP 9 offers the chance to avoid prosecution and help penalties down but it requires you to produce a Full Disclosure Report.  A thorough professional Disclosure Report will keep out of prison and reduce your penalties.  A badly prepared report increases your risks.

The Code of Practice covers direct taxes including income taxes, corporation tax, capital gains tax, National Insurance contributions and indirect taxes including Value Added Tax and Excise and Customs duties.

This Code of Practice promises you a fair treatment under the law and the start of an investigation process into your last 20 years tax affairs.

Where the HMRC decide to investigate using the Civil Investigation of Fraud procedure, they will not seek prosecution for the tax fraud which is the subject of that investigation. The taxpayer will be given an opportunity to make a full and complete disclosure of all irregularities in their tax affairs in the last 20 years.

JM’s partners specialise in helping taxpayers with investigations.  We can help you save tax, interest and penalties.  We can save you years of stress, worry and disruption.  And we can help you avoid a criminal conviction.

Key contacts for this service

If you have received a Code of Practice 9 (Civil Investigation of Fraud) you need specialist help and you would like any more information on any of the above, please contact your specialist tax adviser.

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