HC Deb 23 July 1924 vol 176 cc1310-1
80. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the arrears of the Super-tax, Corporation Profits Tax and the Excess Profits Duty at the end of the financial year 1924; whether any of the arrears have been paid since the end of the financial year; and what action is being taken to get all the arrears paid?


The estimated amount of Super-tax which had become payable and been demanded by 31st March, 1024, but which remained unpaid at that date, was approximately £26,000,000. Analogous figures are not available for Corporation Profits Tax or Excess Profits Duty, but the approximate amounts of these duties in assessment (less arrears shown due to be given up) at 31st March, 1924, were as follow:

Corporation Profits Tax £15,000,000
Excess Profits Duty (including Munitions Levy) £161,000,000
At any moment of time there are always arrears of taxes awaiting payment, and the collection of such arrears is continually proceeding as part of the normal administration of the Department. About half of the Super-tax arrears of £26,000,000 is now paid. Some £5,000,000 of the arrears of Corporation Profits Tax has been collected, and a rather smaller sum of Excess Profits Duty. As I have explained on more than one occasion, a large part of the Excess Profits Duty arrear will ultimately prove not due or not recoverable.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the payment of these arrears has already resulted in concerns having to close down, and is causing considerable anxiety?


Is it not the case that if an ordinary workman does not pay his Income Tax he goes to prison? [HON. MEMBERS: "Where?"] He goes to the police court, anyhow.