Facts you should know about COP9 investigations
The commissioners of the HMRC only open a Code of practice 9 investigation when they suspect serious tax fraud. What you have to keep in mind is that once the civil investigation is started, you have co-operate, but you cannot deny that you have not done any wrongdoing. The truth is that the situation of a subject of a COP9 investigation is very serious. Keep in mind the following facts if you are facing a civil fraud inquiry.
HMRC offers immunity from criminal investigation
The HMRC can grant you full immunity if you fully disclose information about your deliberate or non-deliberate behaviour. This basically means that if you tell the truth within a period of 60 days, the HMRFC agree not to continue the criminal investigation. The HMRC issue a contract via a procedure called Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF). It is important to pay attention to the fact that if you do not make an accurate disclosure of the irregularities present in your tax records, the commissioners will start an investigation that can result in a criminal prosecution. What you have to do is complete the report carefully, making sure that you have not forgotten anything.
The formal pathway can be risky
While it is advisable to cooperate in order to avoid criminal prosecution, issues can arise from the application of the code of practice 9. To be more precise, you may not be successful at all. Even if you do come clean, the HMRC can suggest that you must have been intentional and thus put you in a difficult position. If you are convinced that you have not deliberately made errors, then you should not take the offer at all. You can write a letter in which you explain your faults and make it clear that you want to cooperate with the HMRC to solve the issue.
Professional advice is welcomed
Expertise of the utmost importance for preparing your case. You should get specialist advice, even if you are not criminally prosecuted. If you do not have an advisor yet, then it is time you get one. A trained professional is familiar with the significant changes made to the code and can thus offer you the guidance you need. You should be looking for a specialist that has experience with the COP9. If you want him to deal directly with the HMRC, you should give him the authority to do so.