§ MR. SEALE-HAYNE (Devon, Ashburton)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is competent for the Board of Inland Revenue to demand legal costs "expended out of pocket in connection with the recovery of income tax," where such claim was improperly made and has been waived?
§ * MR. GOSCHEN
I presume that the hon. Member refers to cases where a person has neglected either to pay the income tax to which he was assessed by the Income Tax Commissioners or to appeal to them in the manner laid down by law for the reduction of the amount. In such a case the Income Tax Commissioners report the matter to the Board of Inland Revenue, and the Board first apply for payment, and then, if their application is unsuccessful, instruct their Solicitor to take the necessary steps to recover the amount. But it occasionally happens that in the course of the proceedings the defendant is able to satisfy the Board that if he had appealed to the Income Tax Commissioners in the proper manner he would have obtained relief, and in such a case the Board relieve him from the payment of the tax upon condition that he refunds 696 the actual expenditure to which they have been put by the proceedings. As this expenditure was directly due to his neglect to appeal in the first instance, I think that the course followed by the Board is perfectly justifiable in point of equity.