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Disclosure justified

18 November 2013
Issue: 4429 / Categories: Tax cases

R (on the application of Ingenious Media Holdings plc and another) v CRC, Queen’s Bench Division

Senior HMRC official H told two reporters from The Times that investment and media group IMH marketed tax avoidance schemes and the newspaper published the allegations.

The founder of IMH sought judicial review claiming declaratory relief that the claims were unlawful. He said the taxman had breached Revenue and Customs Act 2005 s 18 (confidentiality) and article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Queen’s Bench Division said there was a “rational connection” between the Revenue’s role in collecting tax and the comments made by H during his meeting with the Times journalists. His judgment in deciding to disclose the information about IMH fell within s 18.

H had not deliberately targeted the media group. “Mention of the claimants arose naturally in the context of the questions which the journalists asked regarding tax avoidance with particular reference to film investment schemes ” the judge...

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