“A fair COP?” by Mark Taylor, Partner and Head of Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution, Buzzacott LLP

Mark Taylor warns of the dangers of COP9 virtual meetings with HMRC.

Covid-19 has profoundly changed the way we work. This includes meetings with the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) under HMRC’s Code of Practice 9 (COP9) investigation of fraud procedure.

What is COP9 and how has it changed since the pandemic started?

COP9 gives taxpayers the opportunity to make a complete and accurate disclosure of all their deliberate and non-deliberate conduct which has led to irregularities in their tax affairs. This is under a contractual arrangement called the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF). For taxpayers who accept the CDF and make a full disclosure of their deliberate conduct, HMRC FIS will not pursue a criminal investigation with a view to prosecution.

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