§ (1)The Commissioners of Inland Revenue may, for the purposes of this Part of this Act, require the secretary of a company or other officer (by whatever name called) performing the duties of secretary of the company, or, in the case of a foreign company, any person being an agent, manager, factor, or representative (by whatsoever name called) of the company, to furnish them within two months after the requirement for the return is made with returns of the profits of the company during any accounting period and such other particulars in connection therewith as the Commissioners (may require).
§ (2)Where the profits of any company are chargeable to Corporation Profits Tax under this Part of this Act it shall be the duty of every person who may be required to make a return under this Section to give notice that the profits are so chargeable to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue within six months of the end of the period for which the accounts of the company are made up, unless he has been previously required by the Commissioners to make a return under this Section, and it shall be the duty of the liquidator of every company which is being wound up at the time of the commencement of this Act or is wound up after the commencement of this Act, and is chargeable to Corporation Profits Tax, to give notice of the fact to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
§ (3)If any person fails to furnish a proper return in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this Section or to comply with any requirement of the Commissioners under this Section, or to give any notice required by this Section, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds and to a further fine not 2338 exceeding ten pounds a day for every day during which the offence continues after conviction therefor.
§ (4)A company shall not, for the purpose of avoiding the payment of Corporation Profits Tax, enter into or carry out any fictitious or artificial transaction.
§ If any company acts in contravention of this provision, the company, and in the case of a foreign company the agents, manager, factor, or other representative of the company, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds.
§ Mr. G. BALFOUR
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "may require" ["as the Commissioners may require"], and to insert instead thereof the words "would be entitled to require under the existing Income Tax Acts".
The object is simply to limit the obligations on secretaries and other officials to what would be required under the Income Tax Acts, and I cannot imagine that there should be any objection to that. It naturally follows that the next two Amendments on the Paper would be dealt with by accepting this Amendment.
The words put down on the Paper are the same as the provisions contained in the Excess Profits Duty, but, as I said just now, I do not think that is conclusive proof that we ought to adopt them. I do not think there has been any general complaint of the way in which the Commissioners have exercised their powers under that Act, and the words it is proposed to leave out enable the Commissioners to exercise some check in cases of suspected fraud or evasion, which I am sure my hon. Friend would not wish to protect. The Amendment takes away from the Commissioners the power to require any particulars or other necessary information, for the Commissioners of Inland Revenue have under the Income Tax Acts no statutory power to require information of any similar kind. All such powers, which are limited, are vested in the appellate body, the General Commissioners or the Special Commissioners. The Commissioners of Inland Revenue are not an assessing body for Income Tax purposes. I think on the merits these powers really are required, and they involve no hardship for honest people, and they may prevent cases of fraud.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.