§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. STANSFELD
, in moving that the Bill he now read a second time, explained that for the purpose of collecting the income tax within the financial year they were advised by the Inland Revenue that some legislation was necessary to hasten the preliminary proceedings—namely, the issue of notices and forms on which the Returns are to be made; and the main object of the Bill was to enable these notices and forms to be issued in time for the collection of the income tax. The Bill likewise included two distinct sections—one referring to the Returns which should be accepted as the basis of valuation, and the other providing that the Income Tax Commissioners should also be the Commissioners with respect to the inhabited house duty.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Stansfeld.)
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
offered no opposition to the Bill, which he thought in many respects a reasonable one; but pointed out that this was the first time during the twenty-seven years in which the income tax had been in force that it was presumed, before a single Vote was taken, that an income tax would be levied for the financial year. He could not help thinking that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government some few years ago would not have been disposed to acquiesce in any such assumption. The wording of the Bill, however, was purely provisional, and, therefore, he did not object to it. As regarded the valuation lists of the metropolis, he greatly doubted whether the revision would be completed in time; and, if not, it seemed that they would be obliged to depend for accuracy of Returns merely on the statements of individuals, which would be a somewhat questionable course.
§ MR. COLLINS
, who had sometimes been called upon to sit twice, first as a Commissioner of Income Tax and next as a Commissioner of Inhabited House 1732 Duty, as to the self-same house, approved the proposed consolidation of offices.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
observed, that if the Returns were not ready in time it would be competent for the Commissioners of Income Tax to make the changes in the usual way. But, under the Metropolitan Valuation Act the Surveyor of Taxes was armed with very stringent powers.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.