HC Deb 08 December 1925 vol 189 cc243-4
56. Colonel WOODCOCK

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that there are 13 different bases of assessment in force for Income Tax purposes, which makes the compilation of Super-tax returns extremely complicated, generally requiring the services of professional assistance; that this could be obviated if incomes under Schedule A, No. 3, B, D, and E, falling to be directly assessed were assessed to Income Tax on the basis of the profits of the year preceding the year of assessment, then many of the various bases of Income Tax assessment could be abolished and the assessment of the preceding year be adopted for Super-tax purposes; and will he, in these circumstances, arrange for' taxpayers to make only one return for Income Tax and Super-tax, so that in the majority of cases the Super-tax assessment could be made locally by the inspector of taxes and sent to the special commissioners for approval and allowance as in the case of Income Tax payers who elect to be assessed by them instead of the local commissioners?


I am aware of the variety of bases to which my hon. and gallant Friend refer? although I do not follow his calculation of their number. A remedy for the inherent difficulties of the subject is not easily found but the matter is one which has my constant study.


Has the right hon. Gentleman personally been able to understand Income Tax returns without assistance?


I have for many years employed the services of an expert.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he could make considerable economies if he would amalgamate Income Tax and Super-tax?


Yes, Sir. These are extremely difficult matters and require very careful consideration. I have been devoting a great deal of time and thought to the subject, but whether anything will come of it or not is a question which I cannot answer.