HC Deb 25 February 1926 vol 192 cc711-3
92. Mr. HURD

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what statutory authority Income Tax at the rate of 4s. 6d. in the pound was deducted from the dividends payable on the 1st May last on 4 per cent. funding stock and Western Australia 4 per cent. inscribed stock; and by what statutory authority the Board of Inland Revenue, having retained money belonging to the stockholders, now declines to pay it to them except upon their first making an elaborate return as to their income from every source?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)

The shortness of the interval between the date of the Budget Resolution and the date for payment of this interest precluded correction of the interest warrants, which had already been prepared with a deduction at the rate of 4s. 6d. in the £. The warrants were, therefore, issued accompanied by a paper explaining the matter. The contingency which arose is not specifically provided for by law, but the procedure followed accords with Section 2 of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913, in relation to deductions made before the passing of the Budget Resolution. As regards the latter part of the question, my hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. Where a claim relates solely to this over-deduction of tax, the claimant is asked to complete only a simple declaration and statement of particulars.


Does that declaration require a return as to income from every source?


No, Sir.

96. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been drawn to the public examination in bankruptcy of a cotton broker in Liverpool, who stated in his evidence that he put £80,000 in his safe, which he had not shown in his Income Tax returns, with a view to evading Income Tax payment; and if he intends taking any action in the matter?


This case is at present under consideration.


On the termination of this case, will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries into the matter and see whether this man should not be prosecuted for doing what he has already done?


I have said this case is at present under consideration.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the man admitted that he put £80,000 away in his safe for the purpose of evading the capital levy tax?


This is a matter of an alleged offence against the law. As a responsible Minister, it would not be proper for me to say anything on the subject beyond that the case is under consideration, which means that if there is anything like a primâ facie case that the law has been broken, certain consequences which are right and proper would follow.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that cases of this sort are numerous, and what step is he taking to prevent this form of evasion of payment of tax?


I am not aware that these cases are numerous, and nothing in the increasing yield of our revenue from practically all sources of taxation would justify such a conclusion.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of communicating with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) for information on this subject?


I should be very glad to receive any information.