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Code of Practice 9 tax investigations are issued only when the HM Revenue & Customs suspects that a deliberate tax fraud has taken place. If you are unfortunate enough to receive a COP9 notice, then you can be sure that your tax affairs are being investigated. COP9 Investigations are caused to happen by discrepancies in your figures, but most times they are unpremeditated. This means that it is not necessarily a bad thing that your tax payments are checked into thoroughly. When the HMRC starts asking questions, you should respect the following rules.

Keep your cool and cooperate

COP9 investigations are performed by professional investigation offices, which sometimes can be intimidating. It is only normal to be overcome with emotions, yet you should do your best to stay calm. What you should not forget is that not all cases result in a custodial sentence. However, if you do not cooperate, things can get worse. This is the reason why you should make efforts to cooperate. As long as you provide precise information and pay all your taxes, you are not likely to get in trouble.

Expert advice must be used

For those who are not at all familiar with the way the HMRC works, the process may seem overwhelming. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to seek legal advice or HMRC tax investigation specialists. You will learn exactly how things work, what you should do. Most important, specialists can present the facts on your behalf to investigators. It is imperative to have a expert by your side. He will make sure that you do what is necessary on time. What you should not do is try to handle matters on your own. The fact is that the case is far too complicated for you to handle on your own.

What options you have

At the opening of the investigation, the HM Revenue & Customs issues a Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF), giving you about 60 days to reply. You have two options in this case:

  • Disclosure – this is when you recognise that you have committed fraud and you express your intention of cooperating. You will be required to sign a contract and acknowledge all the terms and conditions of the HMRC.
  • Denial – if you reject the offer from the HMRC and denied having caused tax loss, but you are willing to cooperate, you can escape a criminal prosecution. When choosing to cooperate, you have to provide detailed information.

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