In addition to our article on COP9 Disclosures where the taxpayer and HMRC sign an agreement that prevents prosecution in return for you declaring fraud fully, it is worth touching on what another form of disclosure offers.
A COP9 is a very intrusive way of declaring fraud. HMRC will want details of every financial transaction you have been involved in over decades. That includes providing details of ISA’s, Mortgages, saving plans, credit cards, current accounts, joint accounts etc., and you will be expected to approach all financial institutions to obtain statements as far back as they can go.
It is then up to you to prepare full accounts over many years showing the true tax position and you may undergo 2 or 3 face to face (or Zoom) meetings.
Depending on how much tax has been evaded, it is worth considering simply writing to HMRC telling them of the fraud, clearly showing how much is owed and then waiting for a Tax Assessment to be raised, with penalties. We often make disclosures in this way where the amount of tax owed is less than £300,000 and where documents have not been altered to conceal the fraud.
If there has been attempts to conceal the fraud, or the amount is over £300,000, we always recommend a COP9 application. Of course, some want total peace of mind and seek a COP9 at the earliest opportunity. Every situation is different, and we are happy to discuss this in more detail.