§ MR. DOULTON
said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether the Commissioners of Income Tax have authority, in cases of Appeal based upon a three years' statement of profits, to dismiss the Appeal without investigating such statement; and whether, in the event of such dismissal (the assessment being under £150 per annum), the Appellant has any remedy by application to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, the Treasury, or other person or body?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the state of the case was 868 this, The parties were bound to make returns of profits and gains on a fair average of three years, and the district commissioners had power to examine the statements in support or correction of such return. The intention of Parliament was to place the matter in the hands of district commissioners, and he was not aware that there was any legal power on the part of the executive Government which obliged them to institute any particular investigation; but there was no doubt that it was their duty to do so, and he believed that duty was generally performed. But it sometimes happened that complaints were made to the Government with respect to the assessments and judgments of the district commissioners, and not unfrequently the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, if they thought the district commissioners had gone wrong, directed the case to be again submitted to them, and matters were then generally brought to a satisfactory issue. It sometimes happened, that even after the final judgment of the district commissioners, an appeal was made to the Treasury or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but he did not consider that Parliament had given the Executive any authority to re-try the case. The only case in which the executive Government had authority to correct the proceedings of the assistant commissioners, was where there was a palpable error on their part, or where some new facts had come to light. But, undoubtedly, the determination of the assessments had been placed by Parliament under the power of the Commissioners, and it was the practice of the Government to re-try the cases, as he had already stated. There was no difference in practice so far as respected the amount of income. Parties having incomes under £150 a year were in the same position as those whose incomes were larger.