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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

Failure to disclose: Material fact already known by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Hinchy [2005] 1WLR 967

The claimant’s duty is to comply with the instructions given to them by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. It is not for them to form views about how the system works or what knowledge the relevant official may have. Disclosure is possible even where

  • the department as a whole; or
  • the section dealing with the person’s benefit; or
  • the relevant officer


already has knowledge of the material fact.

It follows that where

  • the claimant does not disclose a material fact in any of the circumstances of CBTM05270; and
  • that fact is already known by the department, section or person to whom disclosure ought to be made


the omission may still be a failure to disclose a material fact.