A7.424 Opening a COP 9 investigation

Administration and compliance

A7.424 Opening a COP 9 investigation

A7.424 Opening a COP 9 investigation

Unannounced inspections prior to opening a COP 9 investigation

In exceptional cases, a Fraud Investigation Services team may make an unannounced advance visit to the taxpayer to secure relevant documents as evidence which HMRC fear may be otherwise lost once the taxpayer has been notified of the COP9 investigation1. There must be clear evidence for the need for such action and it must be authorised by the FIS team's Operational Leader and the Authorised Officer. The case should have already been considered for criminal action and agreement obtained that civil action under COP9 can continue2.

HMRC guidance states that when examining or removing records, the taxpayer must not be alerted to HMRC's suspicion that criminal offence has been committed, and it is of paramount importance that HMRC can demonstrate that3:


    •     the documents and information requested are reasonably required to check a tax position, or


    •     the inspection being carried out is reasonably required to check a tax position

Opening a COP

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