HC Deb 22 April 1913 vol 52 cc275-7

Now I come to the Inland Revenue. The Estate Duties last year produced £25,248,000, which was under the Estimate. The yield for the last two years would have been still larger had it not been for the fact that some delay occurred in settling up certain large estates, owing to disputes as to the valuation. The arrears from these delays rose rapidly in 1910–11 and 1911–12. They remained stationary last year. Every effort is now being made to prevent any future increase, and next year, when the original valuation approaches completion, the arrears will be recovered and normal conditions will be resumed. The effect of the land valuation on Death Duties can best be illustrated by what happened last year. Before the valuation came into being as a result of negotiations Somerset House generally succeeded in adding about 3 per cent. to the valuations sent in for Death Duties. Last year, as a result of the land valuation, very nearly 7 per cent. was added, and, in order to show the Committee that no injustice was inflicted upon any of the parties, I may point out that as regards Great Britain, in only nineteen out of 38,246 cases was it necessary to appoint a referee, and in no case has a challange of the increased valuation as yet been carried into Court. This year the revenue will receive an increased yield, first of all, from the clearing up and settlement of certain difficulties which, as I pointed out, occurred in the adjustment of duties on certain large estates; secondly, from the abnormal growth and development of the new duties of 1909, and, thirdly, from the truer valuation of realty, which is a direct result of the land valuation in the Budget of 1909. This year we confidently anticipate that the Exchequer yield from Death Duties will be £26,750,000. As to stamps, we cannot anticipate that these will be kept at the high level of last year, in spite of the growing activity of the Estate Market. We therefore put the revenue as £9,800,000, which is a decrease of £259,000 on the sum realised last year. For Land Tax and House Duty, I estimate the same figure as last year, namely, £2,700,000.

Now I come to the Income Tax. We do not anticipate collecting as much Super-tax this year as last, owing to the fact, as I have already pointed out, that last year contained a very considerable number of arrears from previous years. That is an effect of the rejection of the Budget of 1909. Since then the Super-tax has been in arrear, and it has rather dislocated the collection of the tax up to the present time. This year there will be fewer arrears in our collection, and, therefore, we anticipate receiving less by £350,000 from the Super-tax than last year. With regard to the Income Tax, the effect of the dislocation of machinery gradually disappeared at the end of 1911–12. Last year, for all practical purposes, was a normal year. We received, as I have already pointed out, £600,000 more than our Estimate. As the Committee know very well, the Income Tax is assessed on the basis of the average profits of the preceding years, and this year, a very prosperous year, comes in whilst a moderately good year goes out. All that will make a very considerable difference in the amount which will be received in respect of Income Tax, and we anticipate that this year the tax will bring us in a yield of £1,500,000 more than last year. The total for Income Tax and Super-tax together we estimate at £45,950,000, as compared with £44,806,000, an increase of £1,144,000. The Land Values Duties I anticipate will show a substantial increase. The progress of the valuation has enabled assessments to be made of land remaining undeveloped, and these assessments will result in the collection of a considerable sum as Undeveloped Land Duty this year. Altogether I expect to receive from Land Values Duties £750,000, as against £455,000 last year, an increase of nearly £300,000.