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HMRC v Charman: Privacy in the court

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In an investigation into the tax affairs of John Charman, HMRC applied to the Family Division for disclosure of the transcripts from the ancillary relief hearing following his divorce. Privacy is fundamental to ensuring the parties provide full and frank disclosure of their financial positions in divorce proceedings.  Accordingly, the court determined that the veil of privacy in ancillary relief proceedings may only be lifted where there is admitted tax evasion or fraud. However, if an individual seeks to rely on a document produced for ancillary relief proceedings in a tax investigation he may lose his right to privacy in relation to all such documents.

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