HC Deb 24 April 1918 vol 105 cc995-7
58. Mr. CROOKS

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is now the practice to assess the allowances paid to children of officers in respect to the payment of Income Tax; and whether he will favourably consider exempting these allowances from assessment, especially in cases where the number of children in the family exceeds four?


As I have already stated, these additional emoluments payable to officers are assessable to Income Tax equally with the rest of their emoluments. The statutory Income Tax allowances in respect of children apply, of course, in the case of officers as to any other taxpayers.

60. Mr. PETO

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the insertion in the Finance Bill of a Schedule showing the amount of Income Tax and Super-tax combined to which the subject is liable for every £100 of gross income and the deduction allowed?

62. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the advisability of including in the Finance Bill of this year a Schedule in scale showing the net rate per £ of incomes payable from Income Tax and Super-tax on incomes of £130 to £20,000, so that all persons may know the true graduation of the tax?


Such information as it is practicable to give is contained in Table VII. of the recent White Paper. But in view of the great variety of circumstances on which the liability in any individual case depends, it would not be possible to draw up a Schedule giving the net rate of liability as suggested.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this White Paper, or any White Paper, is not current throughout the country and available for taxpayers in the same way as the Finance Act is, because an Act can be obtained by any taxpayer? Therefore would he not think it desirable, in view of the great complications of the present Income Tax and the Super-tax, to have set forth exactly what the liabilities of each taxpayer are?


As I have pointed out, it is impossible to give the net liability of any individual taxpayer, because there may be circumstances not connected with the general rate of Income Tax or Super-tax which affect him. I am afraid that for that reason the suggestion is not practicable.


Could he not see his way to combine the incidence of the two taxes and leave out the special exemptions to which he is referring?


That surely is all on the White Paper. I fancy that taxpayers are as likely to have a copy of the White Paper as of the Finance Act.

61. Captain WRIGHT

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before proposing to double the assessment on which farmers are to pay Income Tax or come under Schedule D, he took into consideration that 90 per cent. of them will not be able to avail themselves of the alternative and will have to pay on the increased assessment; that the prices of all farm produce were fixed by the Food Controller in advance of his, the Chancellor's, present proposals and on the basis of a fair profit to the producer, and that the rate of wages for agricultural labourers has increased and is increasing since those prices were fixed; and whether he will, in the interest of the nation's food supply, further consider his proposals?


Every farmer who is assessed under Schedule B, in the ordinary course upon the basis of double the rental value, will, if he proves that his actual profits for the year—that is, the year of assessment, pot the three preceding years as in Schedule D—are less than the sum assessed, be entitled to a reduction of the charge to the amount of his actual profits, and all possible assistance will be afforded him if he finds any difficulty in establishing his claim. I have every reason to believe that such cases will form a very small proportion of the number of farmers assessed.

Captain WRIGHT

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that the question of food production is more important than the question of extra revenue, and that the farmers in connection with the production of food have better work to do than to start keeping accounts?


In making this proposal we took into account—as, indeed, I mentioned to the House—the question of the national need, and I do not believe that the farmers will relax their exertions in producing food by anything we ask of them that is obviously fair.

63. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the word "dependant" in his Budget statement would include a child over sixteen mentally or physically defective or an entirely dependent invalid relative?


The answer is in the affirmative.


Does it apply to a son maintaining an invalid father?


Yes, I think so.


Does it apply to an adopted child?


The hon. Member must give notice of that question.

71. Mr. WATT

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether final notices for Income Tax, House Duty, and Land Tax have been sent out on 2nd April in some parts of Scotland, threatening costs if not paid in seven days; if so, will he say whether such have been sent out in any part of England or Wales, and at what date it is proposed to send them out in London; and will he in future see that his Department treats all parts of the United Kingdom alike in the way of taxation?


The hon. Member is under a misapprehension in suggesting that thero is preferential treatment in particular areas as regards the collection of these duties. I am informed that in all parts of the country the issue of final notices has been in process since the latter part of February.