HC Deb 19 October 1909 vol 12 cc260-6

(1) On any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land, or on the grant of any lease of any land for a term exceeding fourteen years, Increment Value Duty shall be collected on the instrument by means of which the transfer or the lease is effected or agreed to be effected, and shall be assessed by the Commissioners and paid by the transferor or lessor, as the case may be.

(2) It shall be the duty of the transferor or lessor, on the occasion of any transfer on sale of any land or interest in land or on the grant of any lease of any land for a term exceeding fourteen years, to present to the Commissioners, in accordance with regulations made by them, any such instrument or reasonable particulars thereof for the purpose of the assessment of duty thereon, and if the transferor or lessor fails to comply with this provision he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds, with a right of appeal to quarter sessions, and to pay interest at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum on any duty ultimately payable by him as from the date on which the instrument has been executed.

(3) Any such instrument shall not, for the purposes of Section fourteen of the Stamp Act, 1891, and notwithstanding anything in Section twelve of that Act, be deemed to be duly stamped unless it is stamped—

  1. (a) either with a stamp denoting that the Increment Value Duty has been assessed by the Commissioners and paid in accordance with the assessment; or
  2. (b) with a stamp denoting that all particulars have been delivered to the Commissioners, which, in their opinion, are necessary for the purpose of enabling them to assess the duty, and that security has been given for the payment of duty in any case where the Commissioners have required security; or
  3. (c) with a stamp denoting that upon the occasion in question no Increment Duty was payable;
but where an instrument is so stamped, it shall, notwithstanding any objection relating to the Increment Value Duty, be deemed to be duly stamped so far as respects that duty.

(4) Any duty assessed by the Commissioners under this Section shall be a debt due to the Crown from the transferor or lessor, as the case may be, and for the purpose of calculating the amount of Increment Value Duty due on any subsequent occasion shall be deemed to have been paid.

(5) Regulations may be made by the Commissioners with respect to the mode in which any instrument is to be presented to them in order to be dealt with under this Section, and for the payment of any Increment Value Duty by instalments in the case of any lease or transfer on sale where the consideration is in the form of a periodical payment, and the Commissioners shall deal with any instrument presented to them and allow payment by instalments in accordance with those regulations. The regulations shall provide that where the duty due on the grant of a lease is payable by instalments, and the lease is determined before all such instalments have fallen due, the instalments which have not fallen due shall be remitted, and that in that case the amount of duty which, under this Section, is deemed to have been paid shall be reduced by the amount of the instalments so remitted.

(6) In any case where Increment Duty shall have been paid under the provisions of this Section, but the transaction in respect of which the duty shall have been paid was subsequently not carried into execution, the duty shall be returned to the transferor or lessor on his making application to the Commissioners in accordance with regulations to be made by them under the provisions of Sub-section five thereof.

(7) Where any agreement for a transfer or agreement for a lease is stamped in accordance with this Section, it shall not be necessary to stamp any conveyance, assignment, or lease made subsequently to and in conformity with the agreement.

Drafting Amendments made.

Amendment made: In Sub-section (2), at the end to insert the words "but any person aggrieved by any conviction or order of a court of summary jurisdiction under this provision may appeal therefrom to a court of quarter sessions."


moved, in Sub-section (5), after the word "and" ["and for the payment"], to insert the words "for dispensing with the presentation of any instrument, or particulars thereof, in cases where arrangements are made for obtaining those particulars through any registry of lands, deeds, or title, or through a Register of Sasines, and with respect to the mode in which any application for a return of duty under this Section is to be made; and."

This Amendment enables the Commissioners to dispense with the presentation of any instrument or particulars where they have already got the particulars in some public form.


moved, in Subsection (5), after the word "Duty" ["and for the payment of any Increment Value Duty"], to insert the words "or Reversion Duty."

I want to meet the case of limited owners who do not come in as owners of settled land under the Settled Land Act, 1882. Their case is provided for by this Clause so far as their liability to Increment Value Duty is concerned, but they will be required to provide a lump sum for Reversion Duty, although by the nature of their position they may not have got it in hand. The right hon. Gentleman previously said that in the case of a sale there would be a lump sum out of which to pay the duty; but I want to provide for the case of the reversion falling in and the grant of a new lease. There is an increase in the capital value, but it is not realised at the time. It is only represented by an increased rent year after year. It must have been intended that the Clause should cover that case. It is not only proper, but necessary that it should be met.


I think the right hon. Gentleman must recognise that to insert these words here would go far beyond the necessities of the case, because it would extend the payment by instalments to the Reversion Duty under all conditions.


It is permissive.


I do not know that it is really permissive. Regulations, after all, have to be made by the Commissioners, and unless there is something to indicate very clearly that it is the intention of Parliament the regulations should be confined merely to the case of the clergyman, the Commissioners would be duly bound if the words were inserted here to apply them to all cases. I should like the right hon. Gentleman really to consider whether the suggestion I put forward earlier in the evening would not adequately meet the case. This is certainly not the point to do it effectively, but Clause 37. I think it would be a very dangerous thing to introduce here, and I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman he should withdraw his Amendment.

11.0 P.M.


I do not quite understand what danger the Chancellor of the Exchequer anticipates. Of course, the Commissioners would be bound to make regulations, but they certainly would not say that in all cases the Increment Duty shall be paid by instalments; neither would they be bound to do so under this Clause. If they were, the same rule might be applied to the Reversion Duty. Certainly it would be for them to consider whether in such cases as my right hon. Friend has in mind it is fair and just that the Reversion Duty should be paid by instalments. In my opinion, at any rate, this is the point at which this question should be dealt with, and not Clause 37.


Suppose a man dies after he has paid only two or three instalments, who is to be responsible for the remaining instalments? Will the whole lot at once become due from his estate, or will his successor be held to be liable to continue paying the instalments?


The person for the time being in receipt of the rents would be liable.


There is nothing in the Bill to make him liable.


I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Drafting Amendment made.


moved, at the end of Sub-section (5), to insert the words, "such regulations shall also provide that any person interested in the land may at any time on payment of a small fee obtain a certificate from the Commissioners that any duty has been paid on any occasion, and such certificate shall for all purposes of evidence and of title be conclusive."

There is nothing here to enable the owner of land who has become liable to this duty, and who has paid it, to get a certificate of the payment, and I do suggest that we shall take the analogous case of the Death Duties, where a certificate can be applied for and obtained from the Inland Revenue that these duties have been paid. Such certificate is a very useful thing to give with title, and the Government might consent to allow this Amendment to be made. We are dealing with regulations to be made by the Commissioners, and the effect of the Amendment is to provide that any person interested in land may at any time on payment of a small fee obtain a certificate from the Commissioners that such duty has been paid, and such certificate shall on all occasions be final and conclusive. The occasion I have in my mind is this: Increment Duty has been paid upon a contract and the provision is that the Increment Duty being so paid upon a contract the conveyance which has been subsequently given can be adjudicated duly stamped. It frequently happens, and in all cases of building land it always happens, that pieces of land are cut up and conveyed by a very large number of conveyances arising out of the same transaction, and all I am asking for is that it may be possible that the person who paid the amount should apply for a certificate that the duty has been paid, and that such certificates should accompany the sub-conveyances into the hands of the different purchasers.


On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I submit that this is clearly an Amendment, even if an Amendment is necessary—which I contend it is not—to Section 30 of the Bill. Again, under Sub-section (2), it is provided that the Commissioners shall furnish to any person on payment of a fee copies of any particulars so recorded by them relating to the land certified. That undoubtedly governs the case. The only difference suggested by the hon. Member is that the certificate supplied shall be evidence of title, and in that case it is clearly an Amendment to Clause 30, and comes in there.


It is quite true that any person interested in the land can obtain from the Commissioners records, particulars of the valuation, apportionments, reapportionments, and assessments. What is not provided for is a certificate of the payment of duty.


The best place to raise it is on Clause 30, which deals with matters very much of the same character.

Amendments made: In Sub-section (6), after the word "Increment" ["In any case where Increment Duty"] to insert the word "Value."

After the word "Commissioners" ["making application to the Commissioners"] to insert the words "within two years after the payment of the duty."

To leave out the words "the provisions of Sub-section five thereof," and to insert instead thereof the words "this Section, and in that case the duty returned shall not be deemed to have been paid for the purposes of this Section."—[The Attorney-General.]


moved at the end of the Clause to insert the words, "but the Commissioners shall, if an application is made to them for the purpose, denote on the conveyance, assignment, or lease the amount of duty paid."


I should like to know whether this Amendment applies only to any conveyance, assignment, or lease as described in the Clause, that is, when it is made subject to and in conformity with the agreement. It seems to me it ought to apply to any conveyance, assignment, or lease which is made where Increment Duty is charged, because there is no provision in the Bill at all that the conveyance, assignment, or lease should bear a stamp denoting on the face of it what amount of duty has been paid, and it seems to me that that is really very necessary from the point of view of the person who receives the land, so that he may know on what lines increment will have to be paid in the future. Under paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of Sub-section (3) of Clause 4 there are various provisions for stamps, but the Attorney-General was quite well aware that under some of these provisions there may be only a stamp which will denote that all particulars have been delivered to the Commissioners which will enable them to make an assessment, and there is no provision for there being a stamp on the deed which would actually say what amount of duty has been paid. I think that is necessary, and I should like to ask whether those words are intended to convey that or whether they are limited to the words in the Clause.


The Sub-section provides that where an agreement for the transfer on the sale is stamped it is not necessary to stamp the conveyance made subsequently to and in conformity with that agreement. That is a very reasonable provision. Of course you do not stamp an agreement for conveying if the conveyance itself is already in existence. The provision is necessary in order that the subsequent agreement should be strictly in conformity with the original agreement. You could not allow the original deed to frank a deed subsequently made which is not in conformity with it and which has no relation to it.


Would there be any objection to put a denoting stamp on the conveyance that the duty was paid. May I point out to the hon. and learned Gentleman that there is a profound difference between these two statements. Supposing that £20 duty has been paid on the contract, then the conveyance is submitted for the denoting stamp. That denoting stamp would not be conclusive that £20 was the duty that ought to be paid.


It does not matter to the purchaser whether the duty has been paid or not. What does affect the purchaser is the amount of duty that has been paid.

Amendment made.