Skip to main content

Code of Practice (COP) 9 Tax Investigation & the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)

If HMRC have reason to believe that you have been avoiding paying a large amount of tax, they can authorise a COP 9 (code of practice) Tax Investigation against you. The possible penalties that can arise out of a COP 9 Tax investigation can be very serious, which is why if you are facing an allegation of tax evasion, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor at your earliest convenience. We have offices across the country and are available to represent you wherever you are based.

Free Initial Telephone Consultation

Our highly skilled Tax Defence 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. Please call us on 0808 168 5550 and ask to speak to Steve Kirby or email

What is a COP 9 Tax Investigation?

A COP 9 Tax investigation is authorised by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when they have reason to believe that you have committed a serious tax fraud. Under Code of Practice 9, you are offered full immunity from prosecution via the Contractural Disclosure Facility (CDF) if you decide to cooperate. Initially, you will receive a letter from the HMRC which will essentially give you two options:

  1. Accept the terms and conditions of CDF – You will sign a contract stating that you acknowledge all of the terms and conditions that the HMRC have put forward by disclosing information relating to all of the evaded tax due to your conduct. 
  2. Reject the contract from CDF – You will sign an accompanying form that you reject the offer from CDF and therefore the notion that you have evaded tax. HMRC will now decide to take the investigation further and depending on the circumstances will either take a civil route or under an investigation which could lead to a criminal prosecution.

Once you have received this letter from HMRC, you will have 60 days to reply. If you do not reply within this time frame you will automatically be deemed to have rejected the choice to cooperate which will lead to further investigation from the HMRC. 
If you choose to cooperate, you will need to disclose the following details in order to become immune from further investigation and potential prosecution:

  • Your business history
  • An outline of all your tax irregularities
  • Entities involved
  • The time period when the fraud(s) took place
  • Details of the amounts
  • Certificates for bank accounts and credit cards
  • Description of any records available

If you choose to cooperate, it is in your best interests to seek legal advice in order to submit the correct information and to discuss your options. Please call us to discuss your tax situation.

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. Their overall aim is to therefore ensure that we are taxed the right amount and to make it as difficult as possible for people to take advantage of the tax system.

HMRC also have their own inland detention officers who have the legal authority of arrest, entry, search and detention.  Prosecutions made by HMRC often  take place with the assistance of police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

How we can help

It is a fundamental principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and entitled to a fair trial. The burden is on the Crown to prove their case, not for the individual or business to prove their innocence. If you have been accused of being involved in a tax evasion scheme, our Tax Fraud Solicitors are available to argue your case and advise you throughout the entire civil and/or criminal process. We will:

  • Provide an advisory service before any criminal investigations are contemplated
  • Advise you from the first contact from HMRC
  • Advise you in relation to any interviews with HMRC, including interviews under caution
  • Instruct appropriate experts where necessary, including specialist tax advisors, forensic accountants and computer experts
  • Represent you in the magistrates court, crown court and appellate courts
  • Advise you in relation to the Proceeds of Crime Act, including Confiscation, Restraint and Money Laundering
  • Take the worry off your hands

Given the broad area of law surrounding tax evasion, we will deal with your case by finding out all of the facts and circumstances. During the entirety of the proceedings, we promise to demonstrate professionalism at all times and apply the best possible defence for you.

Why Choose Us?

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

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, our team of Tax Fraud solicitors are adopting Skype video calling to continue providing excellent legal services to you.

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 and ask to speak to Steve Kirby. Alternatively you can email the Tax Defence team on and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Tax 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 BirminghamBedfordDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleLutonManchesterMiddlesbroughNorthamptonNottinghamSheffield.

Email you enquiry:

Email your Enquiry

Please complete the form below providing a brief outline of your query, and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.

What clients say about us


Please provide a brief outline of your query below, and one of our specialist team members will be in touch with you shortly.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms
Email Cartwright King Solicitors
Call Cartwright King Solicitors