First a word of caution; if it has taken you two years to get to the conclusion that you are not happy with your tax investigation specialists I think that you need to ask yourself a few questions before jumping ship so to speak.
The first is why aren't you now satisfied? If it is the costs then clearly this is something that should not be coming as a surprise because any COP9 specialist worth their salt will be able to explain exactly what sort of fees will be involved in most COP9 investigations. You only get what you pay for (EXCEPT of course in my case where my fees are intentionally kept well below the sort of fees being charged by others who are COP9 Specialists).
Secondly after two years I would have expected HMRC to be jumping up and down for the report - unless there have been legitimate reasons for delays being experienced. If the report has already gone in then what are you expecting to get out of the new investigators? Do you also appreciate that any new investigator/COP9 tax adviser is inevitably going to have to get up to speed and is unlikely to either have access to their predecessors working papers or be prepared to put their neck on the block based on the work performed by somebody that may not have got it right. This will cause fees to potentially be duplicated.
Then you might also have to look at your self. Have you co-operated fully by giving your advisers all relevant documentation and explanations when discussing matters with them or when asked and been wholly open and honest with your adviser. If you have then perhaps your decision should have come much earlier if there were signs matters were not being dealt with diligently. Your comment regarding them only processing is a bit worrying as any COP9 report will inevitably involve a great deal of interaction between the client and the tax adviser.
Next if the report has gone in then any new investigator is going to be firefighting with reported conclusions - WHICH YOU MUST HAVE SIGNED OFF - being challenged or questioned.
As regards your comment that you are non-UK domiciled this may well be correct (and domicile of origin is quite an adhesive character) however it is not clear cut. Additionally you may well be aware of the changes that took place in 2008 and therefore the potentially more intrusive review of post 2008 transactions that would be required in preparing such a report or being exposed to HMRC challenge if the work had not been done thoroughly.
All in all, without knowing the detail of how your COP9 investigation has proceeded - or hiccupped along - it is difficult to say what would serve you best value. This could either be a kick up the advisers butt if they haven't given the service they said they would and/or a question mark over the fees charged and being chargeable or a long hard critical discussion with them as to how you feel they are/have let you down. In which event I don't suppose they can look at you recommending them or giving them a testimonial.
If of course a change of tax adviser is the only way you see going forward then clearly all of you, your new adviser and HMRC should discuss the matter as COP9 CDF/CIF Investigation teams are from my experience pretty keen to ensure that all concerned in the matters are knowing what is going on (with regular progress reports from the opening meeting to settlement).
If however matters have degenerated beyond repair and a change is the only reasonable way forward - after speaking to your present specialist - then feel free to give me a call on 0775 1720507 but I cannot say that I would be rushing to take you on and you would have to be adamant that you wanted a new COP9 specialist involved and recognise the downsides to such a change in personnel. Of course your present advisers might even be minded to have a review carried out of the work they have done - for discussion with you - and I am if needed available for this sort of 2nd opinion.
regards and hope this helps
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