Judicial review of HMRC’s decision to have an ‘off-the-record’ interview with newspapers


Re: Ingenious Media Holdings plc & Anor v HMRC [2015] EWCA Civ 173

The appellants promoted film investment schemes which allowed participating taxpayers to take advantage of certain tax relief and exemptions. The respondent had an “off-the-record” interview with two journalists from a national newspaper about tax avoidance schemes. The understanding was that nothing said would be reported, and as a result the respondent was very frank. However, some of the comments were published in the journalists’ articles.

The appellants’ application for judicial review was refused on the basis that the respondent had not passed to the journalists any information which the appellants had provided to the respondent about their affairs; the respondent had not breached the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, s 18; and that they had not wrongly interfered with the appellants’ rights under the ECHR, art 8 or art 1 of Protocol 1.

 Jessica Simor QC and Hugh Tomlinson QC were involved in this case.