HC Deb 22 March 1910 vol 15 cc942-5

asked the Prime Minister if he was now in a position to say, for the convenience of Members residing at a distance, when the Finance Bill of 1909–10, or any Resolution in lieu thereof, or giving effect to its proposals, will come before the House of Commons?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

No, Sir, I am not at the moment in a position to answer the hon. Member's question.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say if this business will come on before 5th April?


No, Sir, I cannot say so definitely. I think it is extremely improbable.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he intends to postpone collecting Death Duties for Budget purposes as well as postponing collecting Income Tax1?


Payment of the Death Duties may be made, at the taxpayer's option, either at the statutory rates or at those proposed in the Finance Bill of last Session. Note is taken of any case in which the lower rates are tendered, with a view to recovery of the difference when the rates proposed in the Finance Bill are confirmed.


asked the number of cases in the years 1906, 1907, and 1908 in which Income Tax payers have had to be sued to recover the amount of the tax; and if he has formed any estimate of the increase in the number of such processes that will be required owing to the collection of two years' Income Tax in the coming financial year?


The number of cases for the years referred to in which writs were issued for the recovery of Income Tax was as follows:—

1906 1,784
1907 1,950
1908 1,921

The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the event of the Finance Bill of 1909 becoming law without further change, and continuing law for ten years, what does he estimate that the aggregate increase effected by it in the taxation of Ireland will amount to in the tenth year?


I must refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend yesterday to a similar question by the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh.


I desire to ask whether any of the applications for the position of valuer under the Finance Bill of 1909 have been considered, and whether any appointments have been yet made?


All applications of the character in question are noted and receive careful consideration, but no appointments have been made in view of the Finance Bill of 1909 not having yet passed into law.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state all the Stamp and other duties to which an ordinary agricultural farm in Ireland of the capital value of £1,000, and subject to a purchase annuity for that sum, would be liable on the death of its owner, on conveyance to a member of his family, and on sale, respectively, if the Finance Bill of 1909 become law, as compared with the similar liabilities of the same farm before purchase and before the Finance Bill?


On the assumption that, by the statement that the farm is "of the capital value of £1,000," it is meant that it has that value over and above the redemption value of the purchase annuity, the Stamp Duties payable before purchase under the Land Acts and before the Finance Bill would be, on conveyance to a member of the owner's family, 10s., and on sale for £l,000, £5. After purchase, but before the Finance Bill, these sums would be 10s. (assuming there were no covenant in the deed to indemnify against the liability for the annuity) and £10 (if sold for £ 1,000) respectively, the increase from £5 to £10 on the conveyance on sale resulting from the creation of a charge upon the property and the consequent application of Section 57 of the Stamp Act, 1891. After the Finance Bill, the Stamp Duty on the conveyance to a member of the; family would be £10 in respect of a gift of the value of £1,000, with £20 on the conveyance on sale. No statement is possible in regard to Death Duties in the absence of more specific information. In no other respect would the Finance Bill affect the property, seeing that the farm, being stated to be an ordinary agricultural farm, would presumably, on the occasions in question, have no higher value than its value for agricultural purposes only, and therefore on sale would pay no Increment Value Duty whatsoever, no matter how large a price might be paid for the farm by the purchaser.

Mr. MACMASTER (on behalf of Mr. Worthington-Evans)

asked what amount was received into the Exchequer in respect of Income Tax from 1st April, 1909, to 12th March, 1910, and how much of this was in respect of assessments made for the year 1909–10?


The amount paid into the Exchequer from 1st April, 1909, to 12th March, 1910, was £12,782,000.

This amount is approximately made up of—

(i.) 1909–10 Assessments £10,600,000
(ii.) Arrears of Previous Years 2,182,000


Can the right hon. Gentleman state when the Income Tax on profits for the past year will be levied on traders and professional men, so that they may have reasonable time to arrange for the payment?


As to the date when the Budget of last year will be introduced into the House of Commons, I must refer the hon. Member to the statements made by my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am unable to admit that, on the passing into law of the Finance Bill for 1909–10, there can be any hardship involved in the immediate collection of Income Tax which, but for the rejection of the Bill by the House of Lords, would have been payable on or before 1st January last.


May I ask if the collection of the Income Tax will not entail the withdrawal of a large sum of cash from the Money Market, and whether that will not cause a great disturbance in the market?


The collection of the Income Tax always draws a large sum of money from the market.