H, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioners of Inland Revenue: Admn 23 Oct 2002

The appellant sought judicial review of the seizure by the respondents of computers found on its premises in the course of executing warrants under the Act, even though the computers might contain other matters not relevant to any investigation.
Held: It had been impossible to make arrangements at the appellant’s home to copy the hard disks. The computers’ hard discs were documents within the provisions, but the 1970 Act provided for seizure of ‘any things whatsoever’. The computer was to be seen itself as a ‘thing’ rather than as a holder of files.
Stanley Burnton J considered that a computer could be a ‘document’ for the purposes of the Taxes Management Act 1970 in which ‘document’ is defined in the same terms as section 114(2) FA 2008: ‘For these reasons, even if I were free to do so, I would not differ from the conclusion reached by the Divisional Court in Da Costa. In any event, I do not think that Da Costa is distinguishable. While it is true that for the purposes of VATA a hard disk is a ‘document’, it is equally a ‘thing’, and in my judgment would be subject to a power of seizure in paragraph 10(3) of Schedule 11 to that Act even without the extended definition of ‘document’.’
Stanley Burton J
Times 08-Nov-2002, Gazette 28-Nov-2002, [2002] EWHC 2164 (Admin), [2002] Po LR 350, 75 TC 377, [2002] BTC 459, [2002] STI 1395, [2002] STC 1354
Taxes Management Act 1970 20C
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Chesterfield Justices and Others, Ex Parte Bramley QBD 10-Nov-1999
When police officers executed a search warrant, it was not proper to remove articles at large, in order later to sift through them, and then to return material not covered by the warrant. There is no absolute prohibition against removing articles . .
CitedDa Costa and Co (a Firm) and Collins v Thames Magistrates Court and H M Commissioners of Customs and Excise QBD 25-Jan-2002
The claimant sought to challenge search warrants issued by the respondents. The warrants were criticised as being too widely drawn, and in breach of the 1984 Act. Criticism was also made of the implementation of the searches, in the use of excess . .

Cited by:
ApprovedFaisaltex Ltd and others, Regina (on the Application of) v Crown Court Sitting at Preston and others etc Admn 21-Nov-2008
Nine claimants sought leave to bring judicial review of the issue of search warrants against solicitors’ and business and other premises, complaining of the seizure of excluded material and of special procedure material. There were suspicions of the . .
CitedGlenn and Co (Essex) Ltd), Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs Admn 18-Jun-2010
The company objected to the search of its offices and removal by the defendant of its computers, the officers having entered without any warrant purporting to use powers under the 1989 Act.
Held: The request for judicial review failed. The . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 January 2021; Ref: scu.178015