HC Deb 16 June 1925 vol 185 cc455-6

"Where a taxpayer or his agent has delivered to the inspector of taxes a list of the securities owned by him and the income arising therefrom receivable by him he shall not be summoned by such inspector of taxes to appear in person or to forward such securities as may have been required of him to the office of the inspector unless the consent of the General Commissioners has previously been obtained.—[Sir Henry Buckingham.]


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time"

I formally move this Clause. It deals with a matter of urgent public importance, but in view of the reply which the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is going to give, I beg to reserve the right to develop my argument after listening to what the Financial Secretary says.


The hon. Member for Guildford (Sir H. Buckingham) refers to the inconvenience which has been caused to certain persons claiming repayment of Income Tax by receiving summonses to call on the inspectors with documents to substantiate their claims. The reason for this practice has been recently established, as, unfortunately, under the old method of repaying Income Tax, dividend warrants have been abused by certain criminal and skilful forgers, and it was necessary to prevent the State repaying Income Tax which it had never received by making sure that all these cases were bona fide. It is true that certain people on whose bona fides there is no doubt have been inconvenienced by this system, and we propose in future to make it clear that the necessity for further evidence beyond the production of dividend warrants shall apply only in the case of people with no settled residence. We propose in these cases in future to make it clear that it is not necessary for the claimant to call in person, or to be put to the inconvenience of trying to get documents for the substantiation of his claim not in his possession, provided that he will put the inspector in touch with his banker or his solicitor who may have the custody of the stock or share warrant or title deeds which show the possession of the income for which repayment is claimed. And in the other case, where these documents are not in the possession of the bank or solicitor but held by trustees, it will be sufficient if the names of the trustees are sent, and if these trustees are people of settled abode who can be approached, with the view of getting an unimpeachable certificate as to the existence of the warrant.


I thank the Financial Secretary for the statement he has made, and it appears to me as an experimental system that what is suggested is satisfactory and should allay the very grave feeling concerning this bureaucratic scandal which has exercised the minds of taxpayers throughout the country. Therefore I beg to withdraw the Clause.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


Does the hon. Baronet move the next new Clause?


Yes. I am frequently referred to as "the hon. Baronet." I regret to say that I do not hold that very dignified position.