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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Misrepresentation: Knowledge of a material fact

R (SB) 21/82, R (SB) 9/85

Jones & Sharples v CAO (1994) All ER (CA) 225

Misrepresentation can occur even though a claimant is not aware of the true position.For example, if a claimant’s wife conceals from him the fact that she has earnings of herown, a statement by the claimant that their wife has no earnings may still be a misrepresentation. Whether misrepresentation has occurred depends partly upon the wording of the declaration signed.

There is no misrepresentation if the declaration on the form is qualified, as on many older postal claim forms, for example

  • Declaration: “As far as l know, the information on this form is true and complete”

and the claimant was not aware of the material fact at the time of signing.

In this case, if there is evidence that the claimant became aware of the fact at a later date it can be considered whether the claimant failed to disclose a material fact.

The statement is a misrepresentation if the declaration on the form is not qualified, for example

  • Declaration: “The information on this form is true and complete”.

Whether the claimant knew the material fact is irrelevant. The only exception is where claimants state that they did not know what they were signing.