HC Deb 29 June 1914 vol 64 cc25-7

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to those cases where, prior to the announcement by the Government of their intention to vary the rate of Income Tax from 1s. 4d. to 1s. 3d. in the £, stocks and shares have been sold, cum dividend, and the purchaser has received from the seller dividends from which Income Tax has been deducted at the rate of 1s. 4d. in the £; and whether, assuming that the House decides to lower the Income Tax from 1s. 4d. to 1s. 3d. in the £ and the seller receives an allowance or payment in respect of Income Tax accordingly, the seller is entitled to retain the amount of such allowance or payment for himself or is bound to pay the same over to the purchaser from him or to the registered owner of such stocks or shares at the time when such allowance or payment is received or to some other and what person?


The matter would appear to be one for settlement between the seller and the purchaser.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in order to avoid confusion, he will introduce a provision into the Finance Bill or into the Revenue Bill to deal with these cases?


I hope it will be possible to make arrangements without introducing anything into the Finance Bill; but, if necessary, without giving an undertaking on the subject, I will consider the matter.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that under the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913, and in the events which have happened, Income Tax at the rate of 1s. 4d. in the £ must continue to be paid or deducted until the Report stage of the Finance Bill has been reached, and the House has decided that the Income Tax for the current year shall be at the rate of 1s. 3d. instead of 1s. 4d. in the £; whether he is aware that, in case the House shall so decide, all payments of Income Tax which have been made at a rate exceeding 1s. 3d. in the £ must be repaid or made good, and all deductions which have been made in respect of Income Tax at such a rate are to be deemed as unauthorised; and whether, in view of the expense which will, owing to the action of the Government, be thrown upon banks, companies, and others, in repaying or making good such over-payments, or in refunding such unauthorised deductions, he will make provision for reimbursing such expenses to the parties concerned?


I am aware of the facts stated by the hon. and learned Member, and as I stated in answer to the hon. Member for East Nottingham on the 25th instant, I am considering what steps can be taken to minimise the inconvenience arising out of the proposed reduction in the rate of Income Tax. I fear, however, that I am unable to entertain the suggestion that compensation should be granted for any expenditure which may prove to be necessary in the circumstances referred to in the question.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give any estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of the relief from Income Tax to persons in respect of a deduction from profits of such a sum as fairly represents the exhausted value of wasting assets (such as collieries, quarries, nitrate lands, etc.) in the period upon the product of which the assessment is based?


While there are insufficient data for arriving at any very definite estimate, I see no reason for materially departing from the figure of £2,000,000, which I gave on the 2nd August, 1912, in the course of the Debate on the Committee stage of the Finance Bill of that year.