§ MR. PIM
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the refusal of the Commissioners under the Irish Church Act to allow the usual deduction for Income Tax off the payments of the annual instalments of tithe rent-charge when converted into an annuity for fifty-two years, under the thirty-second section of the Church Act, notwithstanding that this section states that the payment of these instalments "shall be subject to the same charges, if any, as the rent-charge in lieu of tithes heretofore payable out of the same lands;" whether he does not consider that this House, when passing the Church Act, understood the charge for Income Tax to be one of the "charges" referred to in this section; and, whether, if the present law justifies the Commissioners in their refusal to allow the deduction for Income Tax, he is prepared to propose such legislation as will afford the relief which the circumstances require?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, the Commissioners under the Irish Church Act had fully considered the possibility of allowing deductions for income tax to be made from the payments of the annual instalments of tithe rent-charge when converted into an annuity for 52 years, and they had come to the conclusion, in the absence of any special legislation, that they would not be justified in making any such deductions, inasmuch as the annual instalments included interest and repayment of the principal. The subject, however, had been under the consideration of the Church Commissioners and of the Government, with reference to the Bill which would shortly be introduced to further amend the Irish Church Act; but until that Bill was introduced, he 790 did not feel justfied in stating how it was intended to deal with this or other matters.