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Tax Avoidance – COP 8 Investigations

If you are suspected of avoiding paying the right amount of tax, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can conduct a COP 8 investigation against you. If you are subject to an HMRC investigation, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor at your earliest convenience and we will deal with your case throughout the entire legal process. We are available to represent you anywhere within the country and can instruct tax advisors and forensic accountants if needed.

Free Initial 20 Minute Telephone Consultation

Our highly skilled tax team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. For more information, please call us on 0808 168 5550 or contact us using the enquiry form below.

COP 8 Investigation Procedure

If HMRC have reason to believe that you are not paying the right amount of tax or have opened a tax avoidance scheme resulting in the same, then HMRC may open a COP 8 investigation against you. The purpose of this investigation is to claim any money that is owed to them plus any additional penalties and interest that may be enforced. HMRC will carry out a COP 8 investigation into individuals and businesses and can include any form of taxation. Examples of schemes that typically form part of an HMRC investigation are set out below, but specialist advice should be taken to defend any HMRC investigation as soon as it is opened;

Pension Schemes – This can include those schemes where an offshore trust is created, which then in turn benefits employers and those close to them. Any investment or scheme with an offshore element will come into particular focus with the increased use of the Common Reporting Standard and the Worldwide Disclosure Facility.

Employee Benefit Trusts – These are put in place to minimise the liability of income tax and national insurance payments. There are many ways that these schemes can be structured but since the “Rangers” decision HMRC will have an increased focus and the weight of the Supreme Court decision behind them. Inheritance. 

Tax Schemes – These can be used to reduce the amount of inheritance tax paid to HMRC, these can be created as either ‘home loans’ or ‘double trust’ schemes.

Share Loss Relief and Enterprise Investment Schemes – This can include reducing the amount of tax payable on your earnings by creating capital losses. Such schemes have been open to abuse and as a result HMRC are looking carefully at how each individual scheme operates.

If you are found to, or accept not to have paid the correct tax you will be ordered to pay back all of the money you owe, as well as interest and penalties. Even if HMRC’s position is accepted, the liability for penalties can and often should be challenged. This can have a huge impact on the overall liability. If HMRC suspect the behaviour involves an element of dishonesty or fraud on the part of the tax payer then HMRC may conduct a COP 9 or criminal investigation – this is a matter which should be carefully considered and protected at the outset of any HMRC civil investigation.

Who are the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)?

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial department of the UK government that oversees various financial responsibilities, most notably the collection of taxes. The department is responsible for the administration and collection of various taxes including income tax and corporation tax while also helping families and individuals with targeted financial support such as the distributions of tax credits including child benefits.

HMRC have their own investigation officers in the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) who have the legal authority of arrest, entry, search and detention. HMRC cases can be investigated by HMRC officers alone, or alongside the police.

How we can help

If you have been contacted by HMRC then our Tax Defence Solicitors are available to argue your case and advise you throughout the entire process. We will;

  • Advise you throughout the entire process  
  • Represent you in meetings and interviews with HMRC
  • Prepare and collate all required documents for HMRC
  • Represent you in court or tribunal if necessary
  • Take the worry off your hands

Our team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. We have extensive experience in successfully defending businesses and individuals.

Why choose us?

At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress and worry being accused of tax fraud and tax irregularities and the potential long term consequences that can affect you, your business and your family life. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.

How to make contact

If you require any legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550. Alternatively you can contact us using the enquiry form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our locations?

Our Fraud Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in Bedford, Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Cartwright King also promotes remote working, so we can provide you with the same excellent service outside of our office locations.

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