Contractual disclosure facility ― the role of the agent

By Tolley in association with Guy Smith of inTAX Ltd
Contractual disclosure facility ― the role of the agent

The following Owner-Managed Businesses 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 client wants to pursue the CDF route ― what should the agent do?
  • The client is following the non-cooperation route ― what should the agent do?
  • The HMRC officer wants to meet the client in person
  • Managing serious defaulters programme
  • Ongoing matters
  • The general rule
  • CDF letters issued prior to 30 June 2014

Introduction

HMRC’s regime for handling serious fraud cases is called the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF). Code of Practice 9 (COP9) governs how HMRC investigates suspected fraud and sets out the rules and conditions of the CDF policy.

It is recommended you read the Contractual disclosure facility guidance note to familiarise yourself with the regime.

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 COP9.

If a 64-8 form  is registered with HMRC and it authorises the agent to deal with all of the individual’s affairs, then the agent will receive a copy of the opening letter sent by HMRC to their client. A copy of a typical opening letter and the various enclosures can also be found in the Contractual disclosure facility guidance note.

Where does the agent start?

It may seem obvious, but the first step is to record the date the opening letter, containing the CDF offer and COP9, is received. The client only has 60 days from receiving the offer to make a decision, namely, to admit to a deliberate error(s) (which may include fraudulent errors) or to do nothing about it.

The error / fraud could involve a direct and / or an indirect tax. A full list of the direct and indirect taxes included within the CDF can be found in the Contractual disclosure facility guidance note.

The opening letter from HMRC will rarely give an indication of the deliberate error or tax fraud it suspects has been committed. All the agent will know at this early stage is that HMRC believes the client has done something deliberately to understate their income or gains, usually by concealment or by withholding or misrepresenting

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