Seek specialist help and advice
If you or your client is placed under COP8 or COP9 tax investigation, HMRC’s published view is as follows: “You are strongly recommended to seek specialist independent professional advice… many people find it helpful to appoint a specialist adviser who is familiar with this Code of Practice, in addition to their regular advisor.”
Tax investigation specialists can guide you around potential pitfalls to ensure you're best protected. They will also allow you to get ahead of any accusations by HMRC and should reduce the overall cost of any investigation.
When considering appointing specialist representation for either COP8 or COP9 investigations, clients and advisers should ask themselves these questions:
- Do you feel comfortable dealing with HMRC FIS?
- What happens if the COP8 investigation escalates to a COP9 fraud investigation or criminal investigation?
- What potential penalties are involved and do you know how best to minimise these?
- Are there any errors in your tax affairs that you should disclose and, if so, how did these occur?
- Are you sure which irregularities are deliberate and which are non-deliberate, and are you confident you can defend this position if pressed by HMRC?
- What is the best way of addressing your tax affairs to secure a better settlement or outcome with HMRC?
- Should you accept the CDF offer and what happens if you reject?
- Can you go to prison?
- Can you be publicised as a tax evader?