HC Deb 26 April 1926 vol 194 cc1660-3
66. Sir F. WISE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he, will take steps to see that the Imperial Exchequer does not lose the benefit of Death Duties in the case of the will of a British subject being proved in the Channel Islands?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he proposes to introduce legislation for the purpose of preventing wealthy persons establishing domiciliary rights in Jersey and its contiguous islands for the purpose of avoiding the taxes imposed by this country, which is the source of their wealth?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, as he has riot sufficient powers to enable him to prevent the Treasury from losing the benefit of Death Duties through a transfer of domicile or the proving of a will in the Channel Islands, he will ask this House for such additional powers as may be necessary to enable him to deal with any such cases which have recently occurred or may occur in the future?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether, in the case of a British subject who earned his wealth when domiciled in this country and then prior to his death transferred his domicile to the Channel Islands, he will see that the benefit accrues to this country of Death Duties in any such cases which have recently occurred or may occur in the future?

70. Colonel WOODCOCK

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to prevent losses to the Imperial Treasury of Death Duties on estates of British subjects which may be transferred to the Channel Islands, as has been done in a recently reported case?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the risk of the Revenue losing Death Duties by a change of domicile to places outside the United Kingdom, particularly in the case of persons who have amassed large fortunes under the protection of the laws of the United Kingdom, he will consider the advisability of proposing legislation analagous to the provision that Estate Duty shall be payable on property voluntarily transferred within a fixed period before the death, in order that if in any case a genuine transfer of domicile in such circumstances he successfully proved the Revenue may still be protected.?

72. Mr. HAYES

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to cases of wills being proved in the Channel Islands of persons previously resident in Great Britain who had recently acquired domicile in one of these islands; and whether he will take steps to see that the imperial Exchequer is not thereby deprived of the Death Duties ordinarily payable in the case of British domicile?

73. Mr. JACOB

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he contemplates introducing fresh legislation to prevent persons deliberately evading Income Tax or Death Duties by changing their domicile with that end in View?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)

I think I can identify the case to which reference is made. The House may rest assured that the Inland Revenue authorities will take all necessary steps to secure payment of any Death Duties legally due. From such information as I have at present it appears that there is a good prospect of securing duty on the whole estate, the total amount of which, however, has probably been exaggerated. The question of the evasion of taxation by residence in the Channel Islands and of the measures required to prevent it has been under consideration for some time past, following the Report of the Atholl Committee on the Channel Islands Contributions; and I shall not hesitate to ask the House to take any action which may be suitable for the protection of the Revenue.


Has the right hon. Gentleman any reason to sop-pose that other unpatriotic persons q re attempting to evade national taxation by taking up their domicile in the Channel Islands?


Yes, Sir, this is one of the points to which we have been devoting attention, and which engaged the labours of the Commission which recently visited the Channel Islands.


Seeing that the right hon. Gentleman has identified the person referred to in the question, will he tell the House to what political party did that person belong?


From the point of view of the Inland Revenue, there is no such thing as a political party.


In the event of Death Duties being realised on the whole of this estate, will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to allocate some of those Death Duties for the benefit of the widows and relatives of those seamen who were successfully "skinned" in order that such an estate might be amassed?


Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the question of retrospective legislation?


As the right hon. Gentleman is making inquiries in this matter, will he extend those inquiries so as to include cases of persons who, while retaining a British domicile, transfer their money abroad, in order to escape British taxation?


This is clearly not the moment in which to embark on a discussion of elaborate general questions.