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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

Misrepresentation and failure to disclose - General considerations: Effect of destruction of documents

R (IS) 11/92

Documents relating to benefit claims are routinely destroyed at intervals. Where thishas happened there can be no presumption as to the content of the missing documents.

It cannot be shown that the claimant misrepresented or failed to disclose

if the missing documents were the only record of the facts upon which the award of benefitwas based, for example, claim forms or review statements. In these type of cases theoverpayment is not recoverable unless;

  • there is a criminal conviction for an offence which gave rise to the overpayment or
  • the claimant says there was misrepresentation or failure to disclose or
  • the claimant has made a later misrepresentation, in which case the overpayment may be recoverable from the date of that misrepresentation.