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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

Where CDF offer is made up to 29 June 2014: opening the investigation: initial approach to the taxpayer

Once a case has been authorised for registration under COP9 the taxpayer must be informed as soon as possible. You should write directly to the taxpayer, with a copy to his or her authorised professional adviser. Your opening letter should include:

  1. A Copy of Code of Practice 9.
  2. A letter offering the opportunity to enter into a Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF).
  3. A copy of the Outline Disclosure document and guidance notes.
  4. A copy of the denial letter.
  5. All the relevant fact sheets.

The opening letter should also seek to find out, where possible, if the taxpayers have any health problems or language difficulties sufficient to require special arrangements. Usually advisers will volunteer this information, but you must check because if a person has health problems, the Equality Act 2010 requires us to make any reasonable adjustments required to ensure a taxpayer who has a health problem is not treated any less favourably than a taxpayer who does not.

Initially opening letters were sent to the taxpayer using Royal Mail ‘recorded signed for’ post. However, changes in the way that letters were delivered means, until further notice all opening letters to both taxpayers and agents should be sent using the Special Delivery service.

There is a template for the opening letter, which can be obtained from SEES. The opening letter does not need to indicate if your concerns lie with direct tax, indirect tax or both. However, where you are issuing COP9 in a case that is already under enquiry, you should say whether any factsheets etc that have been issued previously have been withdrawn, superseded or still apply.

For direct taxes, you should consider whether Self Assessment enquiry notices are required.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)