HC Deb 12 November 1917 vol 99 c34

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is the practice in arriving at the assessable income under the Income Tax and Excess Profits Tax Laws to allow as part of the expenses of business the subscriptions of business firms to employers' associations, and to such bodies as the Federation of British Industries and the National Alliance of Employers and Employed; whether the analogous contributions of doctors, teachers, and architects to their respective associations are similarly allowed to be deducted from salaries and profits in arriving at the net assessable incomes of these professionals; whether the subscriptions of a workman to his trade union are likewise allowed as a deduction from his gross wages in assessing the amount on which he is to pay Income Tax; and, if any difference is made in the practice of the Inland Revenue as between these three classes or any two of them, whether he will give instructions for all taxable incomes to be treated alike in respect of contributions payable to vocational organisations?


Contributions to trade unions, in so far as they relate to superannuation and death benefits, are allowed as deductions. With regard to the other payments referred to in the question, the test to be applied is whether the expenditure is incurred for the purposes of the business, and it has been judicially decided that expenditure which, if incurred by an individual, would constitute a permissible deduction in the computation of the taxable profits, does not cease to be a permissible deduction if incurred by individuals in combination.