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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA): Article 8: Impact on HMRC

Article 8(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) gives everybody the right to respect for

  • their private and family lives
  • their home, and
  • their correspondence.

However, Article 8(2) specifically envisages that there will be some circumstances when it is necessary to interfere with a person’s rights of privacy and sets out the conditions that must apply before such an intrusion is lawful.

In order to be lawful, intrusion into a person’s private life must be

  • in accordance with law
  • necessary in a democratic society, and
  • in pursuit of a legitimate aim.

For HMRC this usually means that any intrusive action must be in accordance with the law and necessary for the economic well being of the UK.

In order to be necessary the proposed activity must be proportionate to the underlying need, see EM1357.