HC Deb 07 November 1916 vol 87 cc38-9
68. Captain WRIGHT

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the members of industrial and provident societies are now liable to the payment of Income Tax?


I am not in a position to furnish exact figures, but it is probable that, on an outside computation, not more than one-tenth of the members of industrial and provident societies would be effectively liable to Income Tax The hon. and gallant Member will bear in mind that, although the Income Tax exemption limit stands at £130, the average practical limit of non-liability is much higher, by reason, principally, of the reduction allowed in respect of children (£25 for each child).

69. Captain WRIGHT

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the amount of the surpluses accumulated out of excess profits by the industrial and provident societies for the financial year 1914–15; and whether, having regard to the financial burdens imposed by the War on all other corporations and persons, he will set up his promised Committee for the reconsideration of the exemption from taxation granted to these societies now before the War is ended?


No information is available which would enable me to supply the particulars desired by the hon. and gallant Member. I may remind him, however, that these societies are chargeable to the Excess Profits Duty. As has been repeatedly explained in this House the Committee to which he refers will be appointed to investigate Income Tax matters generally and the inquiry cannot be entered upon until after the War.


Is it not the case that if Income Tax were levied upon co-operative societies in the same way as upon limited liability companies Income Tax would be improperly levied upon millions of poor people who would have the greatest difficulty in getting back the tax wrongly collected, thus in effect robbing them?


I believe that is the fact, but that is one of the matters which will be inquired into by the Committee.