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What is Code of Practice 9?


Code of Practice 9 is only issued as part of the Contractual Disclosure Facility and is solely used by HMRC Fraud Investigation Service. Code of Practice 9 is a leaflet which sets out HMRC's position on, and how to complete, the Contractual Disclosure forms and what the process of the HMRC investigation into their suspected serious tax fraud is.

The offer to take part in the Contractual Disclosure Facility and the issue of Code of Practice 9 are only undertaken where HMRC suspect serious tax evasion.

In effect, Code of Practice 9 sets out the protocols and procedures that HMRC expect to work under, where they are suspecting serious tax fraud outlining that:

  • This is a person’s one-off opportunity to make a full and complete disclosure of all tax irregularities
  • That, in order to take part in the process, an individual must admit to deliberately not declaring all of their income (or deliberately making claims for reliefs, expenses or VAT that they know are incorrect and not due)
  • That if there are none deliberate errors as well that these also need to be disclosed on the relevant disclosure
  • Sets out that by deliberate, HMRC mean that the individual knew that entries included in the tax return or accounts were incorrect but chose to submit them to HMRC anyway
  • That if materially false statements are made as part of the process then the individual will be considered for prosecution
  • If a full disclosure is made then the person will not be considered for prosecution
  • That the individual only has 60 days from the date of receipt of the offer to take part in the Contractual Disclosure Facility to accept
  • That if HMRC have not received the relevant forms back from the individual within this period then HMRC will treat this as the individual saying that they have not made any deliberate errors

Read more about Code of Practice 9 (COP9).

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Tax Investigation Specialist
Scott Gilbert, Partner and Tax Investigation Specialist

"We understand that people sometimes make mistakes in their dealings with HMRC and that HMRC make mistakes in dealing with taxpayers. Many people do not know how to deal with HMRC or who to turn to for help resolve the tax dispute.

Our firm of tax advisors specialise in resolving people's problems with HMRC. We have extensive expertise in dealing with all forms of tax investigations and tax disputes as well as with taking matters to the Tax Tribunal where agreement cannot be reached.

We deal both directly with the individual who is under enquiry and also work with many firms of accountants supporting them in dealing with HMRC disputes and advising them on how to handle HRMC to get the best result.

The fact is that proper management of HMRC is the best way of reducing the tax, interest and penalty as well as the time taken in resolving any tax dispute.

Our expert team are none judgemental and rigorously defend your position within the scope and parameter of the law. We take control and manage the process to minimise the interruptions that any form of tax investigation causes to an individual's life and business."

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