§ 50. Sir CHARLES CAYZER
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he 273 will consider the advisability of including in the next Finance Bill a provision to give the trial judge or superior tribunal, before whom a case might come, resulting from an appeal by the Inland Revenue from a decision in favour of a taxpayer, power to direct that the Inland Revenue pay the taxed costs of the taxpayer, even though the taxpayer fail, lf the judge or tribunal is satisfied that the case raises a point of principle not covered by previous authority?
§ 52. Captain P. MACDONALD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the case of Jones v. James Leeming; and whether he proposes to take action to revise the instructions respecting the taking of Income Tax cases to the House of Lords?
54. Marquess of HARTINGTON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether in the case of Jones v. Leeming, the costs of the action in the Court of Appeal and in the House of Lords will be borne by the Crown or by the respondent?
58. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider taking steps to ensure that, when the Inland Revenue authorities appeal against a decision of the courts in favour of a taxpayer, the costs of both sides shall be borne by the Inland Revenue if the result of the action is unfavourable to the latter?
§ 59. Sir W. DAVISON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the inclusion in the Finance Bill of a provision giving the trial judge or superior tribunal before whom an Inland Revenue case had been tried power to direct that the Inland Revenue should pay the taxed costs of the taxpayer, even though the taxpayer should fail, if the judge or tribunal was satisfied that the case raised a point of principle not covered by previous authority; and what action he proposes to take in this matter?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I do not think that legislation in the sense suggested is necessary or desirable. The case specifically referred to was one in which the Board of Inland Revenue felt bound to seek an authoritative ruling from the highest tribunal on a point of income tax law on which the guidance given by previous judicial decisions in other cases 274 was uncertain. In accordance with their established practice in appeals of this type they undertook from the outset to pay the taxpayer's costs, whatever the event, both in the Court of Appeal and in the House of Lords. I see nothing in this case that calls for an alteration in the existing law or practice as regards Revenue appeals.
§ Sir C. CAYZER
In view of the fact that the Income Tax authorities have twice received a very severe rebuke from the highest legal tribunal in the land, can the right hon. Gentleman take some action to stop this bluffing and bullying of Income Taxpayers?
§ Captain MACDONALD
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Law Officers of the Crown were consulted before the case was taken to the House of Lords?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I suppose they were, but it is quite evident from the supplementary questions that the purport of my reply has not been appreciated. This was a matter upon which there was some doubt, and the Inland Revenue authorities were anxious that there should be a decision by the highest judicial body in the country, and therefore they undertook to pay the whole costs, both the costs of the Crown and the costs of the taxpayer, in order to get that decision. I do not see that anybody has any grievance at all.
§ Captain MACDONALD
Is it not a fact that the Law Officers of the Crown are employed for the purpose of advising the Chancellor of the Exchequer on these matters?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
In view of that statement, is it quite clear then, that in future, in eases where the Law is in doubt and which the Inland Revenue take to the highest court, the costs to the taxpayer will be reimbursed by the Inland Revenue Department?
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the House of Lords has passed such comment before?