A7.425 COP9 and the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)
What is a CDF?
The contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) is a contract between the taxpayer and HMRC. HMRC will not give a guarantee at the outset of an investigation under COP9 that a taxpayer will not be investigated criminally, with a view to prosecution for the suspected tax fraud, unless that taxpayer enters into a contractual arrangement to disclose, and makes an outline disclosure under that arrangement. The guarantee is restricted so that it only covers the tax frauds disclosed on the outline disclosure form, under the terms of the contract1.
Time limit to respond to HMRC
Once the opening letter, COP9 and offer of a contract have been issued (see A7.424), the taxpayer has 60 days from the date that they receive the letter to either accept or reject the offer. If the taxpayer ignores the offer or makes an invalid disclosure then they will be treated as having rejected the offer2.
The 60-day period may only be extended with written approval of the authorising officer, who must be satisfied that there exists a good reason for an extension, with such good reason being an unexpected or unusual event beyond the control of the recipient, which has prevented a response being made within the afforded time3.
The opening letter contains a standard acceptance/rejection letter which the recipient must sign and return to HMRC without alteration.
Rejecting the offer of a contract using the CDF
If the taxpayer does not believe that they have brought
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