Contractual disclosure facility - the role of the agent

By Tolley in association with Guy Smith of inTAX Ltd

The following Personal Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Guy Smith of inTAX Ltd provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Contractual disclosure facility - the role of the agent
  • Introduction
  • Where does the agent start?
  • The CDF route
  • The non-cooperation route
  • Face to face meetings
  • Managing serious defaulters programme
  • Ongoing matters
  • The general rule
  • CDF letters issued prior to 30 June 2014


HMRC introduced a new regime for handling serious tax fraud cases called the contractual disclosure facility (CDF) on 31 January 2012. At the same time a revised Code of Practice 9 (COP 9) was published, which governs how HMRC investigates suspected fraud and how COP 9 interacts with the CDF.

Note that the CDF was changed with effect from 30 June 2014 to remove the ‘denial’ option in response to the initial letter from the HMRC. This leaves the taxpayer with two options:

  • go down the CDF route, ie admit to the fraud and make a full disclosure to HMRC, or
  • decide not to cooperate with HMRC and has no protection against a criminal investigation

The references to 'fraud' have also been removed from the 'admission statement'. Instead, the taxpayer must admit to 'deliberate' behaviour. It is not entirely clear what HMRC means by admission statement; it is assumed to mean the 'contract acceptance letter' and the 'outline disclosure form'.

Agent update 42 

COP 9  was updated on 30 June 2014 to reflect the changes.

As you may still be dealing with cases where the denial route was adopted, this is considered at the end of this guidance note.

The individual is given 60 days from receipt of the letter to respond to HMRC.

For further details see the Contractual disclosure facility guidance note. It is recommended you read that guidance note to familiarise yourself with the regime before proceeding.

This guidance note discusses the role of the agent in assisting the individual who is offered the opportunity to participate in the CDF and is sent the COP 9.

If a form 64-8  is registered with HMRC and it authorises the agent to deal

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