HC Deb 17 June 1852 vol 122 cc867-8

begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he considered that under the Property Tax Act, 14&15Vict., c. 12,s. 3, abatements might be made from assessments on tenant-farmers where the profits fell short of such assessments, if the farm was taken from Michaelmas to Michaelmas (which was usually done in the county of Sussex and many other counties), instead of from Lady-day to Lady-day? [The hon. Member then quoted some passages from a petition which had been presented from tenant-farmers on this subject.]


said, this was a very important subject, interesting a very considerable portion of Her Majesty's subjects, and he did not think he could give a better answer to the question than by reading the following circular on the subject from the Inland Revenue Office, dated the 8th of June, and the issue of which probably preceded the petition which the hon. Member had read to the House:— Inland Revenue, Somerset House, June 8. Sir—Many inquiries have been made as to the periods to which the accounts of farmers should be made up, in order to show the amount of their profits from the occupation of their farms, upon appeal under the 3rd Section of the 1i Vict. chap. 12, against the assessments to the income tax under Schedule B, on the grounds that the profits in the year of assessment fell short of the sums assessed; and as it is understood that farmers do not make up their accounts to the 5th of April, but almost invariably to the 29th of September in each year, or thereabouts, I am directed by the Board to state that, under the circumstances, no objection is to be offered by the surveyors to accounts being received on such appeals for the year from Michaelmas, 1850, to Michaelmas, 1851, or to such other day in the year on which the accounts of the appellants shall have been usually made up, and to relief being afforded by the district commissioner, upon satisfactory proof that during such year the profits arising from the occupation of their farms did not amount to the sums assessed under Schedule B. I take this opportunity to observe, that the provision above referred to does not authorise exemption, although the total income of the party may have fallen short of 150l. in the year, but only an abatement of the charge to the amount of the profits actually acquired, in the same manner as relief is granted by the 133rd Section of the Income Tax Act in respect of assessments under Schedule D on profits of trade. I have further to state, that the relief is applicable to persons occupying their own farms as well as to tenant-farmers, provided they obtain their livelihood principally from husbandry.—I am, Sir, your obedient servant, THOMAS KEOGH. The hon. Member (Mr. Frewen) would therefore see that the point raised by him had been met by the Government before the petition was presented to the House, and that the relief which he required to be granted had already been secured.