HC Deb 06 July 1920 vol 131 cc1232-3

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Inland Revenue authorities are now taking legal steps to collect Excess Profits Duty from companies and persons whose profits have been made in the Dominions and have already been subjected to a heavy Dominion Excess Profits Tax; and whether the Government can take any steps to alleviate the position of Empire businesses so that they will not be called upon to bear the burden of double taxation in this direction?


Where liability to Excess Profits Duty arises in cases of the kind which my hon. Friend has in mind, steps are taken by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to collect the duty in conformity with the statutory provisions relating thereto. As regards the latter part of the question, a deduction is allowed in computing profits for purposes of the Excess Profits Duty for any payment on account of Excess Profits Duty imposed by a Dominion. Provision is also contained in Section 23 of the Finance Act, 1917, under which reciprocal arrangements may be made between the British and Colonial Governments for granting relief in respect of double charges of Excess Profits Duty. One such arrangement—which can, of course, only be made by agreement with the Colonial Government—has already been made.


Am I to understand that, although these arrangements are come to, firms are called upon to pay this double taxation, although for some time the authorities have been observing a more lenient attitude? Is it the definite policy of the Government to collect the two taxes?


The statutory concession is subject to the conditions laid down by Statute. I cannot extend it. I do not know what change of practice my hon. Friend alludes to; but perhaps he will speak to me about it.