Tell HMRC about any tax fraud you have been involved in.
This guide explains what you must do if HMRC suspects you of committing tax fraud and offers you a contract through the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF).
It also explains what you should do if you want to voluntarily admit to tax fraud.
If you suspect someone else of committing fraud, you can report tax fraud or avoidance to HMRC.
Your information will be handled securely and safely, and you do not need to give your name.
About the Contractual Disclosure Facility
The Contractual Disclosure Facility is the opportunity for you to tell HMRC about any tax fraud you have been involved in.
You can only use the Contractual Disclosure Facility to admit to tax fraud. You must not use the facility to tell HMRC about errors, mistakes or avoidance schemes that are not related to fraud.
The Contractual Disclosure Facility covers the broad range of taxes, duties and payments administered by HMRC. If the tax fraud involves companies or other entities, we can offer the use of the Contractual Disclosure Facility to the responsible individuals.
The Code of Practice 9 (COP9) explains:
- how the Contractual Disclosure Facility works
- what HMRC do if they suspect someone of committing tax fraud
- what being suspected of fraud means for you and what your rights are
If you are offered a Contractual Disclosure Facility contract
If HMRC write to you because you’re suspected of committing a tax fraud, the letter will offer you a Contractual Disclosure Facility contract and will include:
- an acceptance letter
- a rejection letter
- a disclosure form
- a copy of Code of Practice 9 (COP9)
Under the Contractual Disclosure Facility, you have 2 options:
- own up to bringing about a loss of tax through your deliberate behaviour — you do this by accepting the offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility
- reject the offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility
If your deliberate behaviour has brought about a loss of tax, you should consider if using the Contractual Disclosure Facility is right for you.
If you decide it’s right, you should sign up to the Contractual Disclosure Facility contract. This means that both you and HMRC agree to the terms and conditions of the contract.
Deadline for accepting a Contractual Disclosure Facility contract
You have 60 days to decide if you want to accept HMRC’s offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility. The 60 day period will run for 60 calendar days after you get the Contractual Disclosure Facility letter from HMRC.
This deadline can only be extended in exceptional circumstances. If you think this applies to you, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will get a response within 7 days.
During the 60 day period, HMRC will not contact you unless you have told them you either do or do not want to provide details of tax fraud.
HMRC can still:
- take action against goods you own or possess
- start or continue debt collection
- continue any other action that’s needed as part of HMRC’s legal obligations
If you accept the offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility
HMRC will agree to not criminally investigate with a view to prosecute you for the deliberate behaviour you tell them about in the contract.
- admit that your deliberate behaviour has brought about a loss of tax, duty or payment administered HMRC
- tell HMRC about all the tax, duty and payment losses brought about by your deliberate behaviour
- give as much detail as you can within 60 days of being offered the contract
- give additional details, in the form of a disclosure report, following the 60 day period — include a statement that you have given HMRC complete and accurate details of your deliberate behaviour.
- fully cooperate with us to put your tax affairs in order
- pay any tax, duty, interest and penalties that you owe
Accepting HMRC’s offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility and making a full disclosure is the only way to guarantee that HMRC will not criminally investigate with a view to prosecute.
We will consider how you co-operated in meeting the terms of the contract when we work out any penalties due.
If you reject the offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility
HMRC may begin a criminal investigation into your tax affairs at any time. The letter you have signed can be used in court as evidence to show that you intended to deliberately mislead HMRC.
Following your rejection, someone in HMRC will contact you to explain what will happen next and what you need to do.
If you do not reply to HMRC’s letter
If HMRC do not hear from you within the 60 days, either to accept or reject the offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility, we’ll assume you have chosen not to co-operate. HMRC will begin either a civil or a criminal investigation into the suspected tax fraud.
Voluntarily admit to tax fraud
You can ask HMRC to consider you for a Contractual Disclosure Facility contract (form CDF1). You do not need to wait for HMRC to contact you.
HMRC do not need to offer you a contract, and will be unable to if you’re already involved in a criminal investigation by HMRC or another law enforcement agency (such as the police).
If you’re already dealing with HMRC on other tax issues, but want to be considered for the Contractual Disclosure Facility, discuss this with the HMRC officer dealing with your case.
Appointing an advisor or agent
We strongly advise that you get independent advice before you:
- complete any Contractual Disclosure Facility letter or form
- ask if you can enter into a Contractual Disclosure Facility contract
If you have previously used form 64-8 to authorise your agent, we’ll deal directly with the agent named on that form unless you tell us not to.
If you would like to appoint a new advisor, complete Tax agents and advisors: temporary authorisation to allow HMRC to deal with your tax advisor (COMP1) and send it to HMRC with the completed Outline Disclosure form.
Completing the Outline Disclosure form
If the completion instructions in part 4 and 4a of the Outline Disclosure form do not answer your question, you can contact HMRC by email at email@example.com. You will get a response within 7 days.
Where to send the Outline Disclosure form and acceptance letter
Send the completed Outline Disclosure form and acceptance letter to the address shown on our original letter to you.
If you cannot find this letter, send them to the following address:
HM Revenue and Customs
Fraud Investigation Service
HMRC response to your Outline Disclosure form and acceptance letter
HMRC will let you know we’ve received your Outline Disclosure form and then review the content, which can take some time. We will contact you once the review is complete to let you know whether or not it is accepted.
If you’re concerned about the length of time it is taking to respond, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will get a response within 7 days.
Make a payment on account
We charge interest on tax and duty that is paid late. We charge it from the date the tax or duty should have been paid to the date that it is paid. To save you paying more interest than necessary, we expect you pay any amount you think you may owe from the details you include in the Outline Disclosure form.
These payments are called ‘payments on account’. Making a payment on account will stop the interest increasing on the amount of tax and duty you owe. We see this as a demonstration of your willingness to reach a settlement.
If payment information and the reference number is not shown in our letter, email: email@example.com. You will get a response within 7 days.
Help and advice
The helpdesk will:
- answer technical questions about the Contractual Disclosure Facility
- explain what specific things mean, for example, if you do not understand part of one of the letters HMRC has sent you
The helpdesk cannot:
- answer questions about your own case, or anyone else’s
- give advice about examples or pretend situations (hypothetical questions)
- answer questions about any other area of tax or benefit that is administered by HMRC
You can find more detailed guidance in the Fraud civil investigation manual.