§ 35. Colonel APPLIN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the Regulations governing the conditions under which Members of this House are allowed rebate on Income Tax on their salaries as Members of Parliament; whether these conditions can be varied or interpreted by the Chief Inspector of Taxes or his subordinates without reference to this House; and if he will state who is the authority to determine what are the legitimate expenses of Members of Parliament upon which they are entitled to claim such rebate?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)
I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to the question of the expenses admissible as a deduction in the computation of Income Tax assessments in respect of the emoluments of Members of Parliament. This question is governed by the general provisions of the Income Tax Acts applying to all offices and employments.
Under Rule 9 of the Rules of Schedule E in the Income Tax Act, 1918, a deduction may be claimed for expenses wholly, necessarily and exclusively incurred in the performance of the duties of an office. Under Rule 10 of those Rules, where the Treasury are satisfied with respect to any 611 class of persons in receipt of any salary, fees or emoluments payable out of the public revenue that such persons are obliged to lay out and expend money wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties in respect of which such salary, fees or emoluments are payable, the Treasury may fix such sum as, in their opinion, represents a fair equivalent of the average annual amount laid out and expended as aforesaid by persons of that class. In pursuance of this power, the Treasury have prescribed an allowance of £100 in the case of Members of Parliament. If a Member desires to claim an allowance in excess of that amount, he is furnished by the Paymaster-General with a form on which he may set out particulars of his expenses. The admissibility of any item claimed as a deduction depends, as I have already indicated, upon whether the expenditure can be held to be incurred wholly, necessarily and exclusively in the performance of the duties as a Member of Parliament. In the event of a Member being unable to agree with the Inland Revenue authorities as to the amount of his assessment, he has the right of appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax, and, if dissatisfied with their decision as being erroneous in point of law, he can appeal to the Courts.
§ Colonel APPLIN
Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House how hon. Members can convince the Treasury that these expenses are legitimate?