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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

Where CDF offer is made 30 June 2014 onwards: pre-authorisation review and action: limited companies

It is not possible to give COP9 to a company. If there are suspected fraudulent transactions or omissions arising in a company, then you need to determine to whom COP9 should be issued.

Likewise, there will be particular cases where the person able to make a financial settlement may not be the person who committed the fraud. Examples could include board members, new directors or shareholders where it was the previous incumbents who committed the fraud.

The key element for applying COP9 is that there must be someone who can make an admission of deliberate conduct and a disclosure of what they have done. It is not necessary for that person to be personally responsible for the tax consequences of their conduct. You should expect a disclosure of irregularities committed through all entities, not only those with which there is a current connection.


Purple Ltd. was owned by Violet Pink,  who recently sold it to Rose Carmaine. Rose is now the sole director.

You receive reliable information, from a former senior employee of the company, that Purple Ltd. was engaged in significant evasion of VAT and PAYE under the directorship of Violet Pink. There is no evidence that the fraud has continued under new ownership, and recent VAT and PAYE returns support this.

You could offer COP9 to Violet Pink. Any admission she made would be third party evidence to establish the liability of Purple Ltd. (it might also lead to personal liabilities for her and the attribution of company penalties to her personally).

It would not be appropriate to issue COP9 to the new director, Rose Carmine, as she was not involved in the fraud. But an investigation would have to be opened into Purple Ltd., under either COP8 or CC/FS1.

If any penalties become due for Purple Ltd., you would take account of the cooperation of the new director, but not the former director, when reducing the penalties. Once Violet Pink had secured immunity from criminal investigation by making a valid Outline Disclosure under CDF, it might be difficult to induce her to cooperate further, unless there were personal penalty consequences for her.