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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Decision Making: The Human Rights Act and Glossary of Terms: The Human Rights Act and Decision Making

When making a decision on tax credits, the Human Rights Act should not normally be breached as long as the official guidance is followed which is based on the Tax Credits Act and supporting regulations and the decision maker arrives at a decision without bias or discrimination against anyone, based on any factor which is not pertinent to the decision making process or relevant to their entitlement.

Below are examples of some specific human rights that are sometimes considered (usually by Compliance) in the course of investigations:

  • the right to a fair trial
  • the right to respect for private and family life

Article 6 (The Right to a Fair Trial)

This is more often invoked on a Criminal Investigation case. However any request for information under section 14, 15, 16 or 19 where penalties may become payable may fall foul of breaching Article 6 if at the stage in a case when penalties are likely to be considered, the officer does not explain the rights surrounding the right to silence and a right not to self incriminate.

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Article 8 (Privacy and Family Life)

This states that:

there shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

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Additional Information on the Human Rights Act

Further information on the Human Rights Act and how it affects HMRC can be found on the HMRC intranet site, under A-Z.