HC Deb 26 April 1932 vol 265 c207
59. Major McLEAN (for Sir GERALD HURST)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many Surtax and Super-tax payers are in arrear in respect of their taxes; what is the total amount of such arrears; and over how many past years such arrears extend?


For the purposes of the Budget it was estimated that, at the 31st of March last, the amount of Surtax and Super-tax in assessment and unpaid, which will ultimately prove to be collectible, was about £14,500,000. I cannot say how many persons are covered by this figure. The greater part of the £14,500,000 represents the Surtax for the year 1930–31 which was payable on the 1st of January last, and practically the whole of the remainder represents tax due for the two preceding years.

Major McLEAN

Can the hon. and gallant Member say how far these arrears are due to bona fide disputes as to liability, or how far they are due to the fact that the taxpayer is unwilling or unable to pay promptly?


It is difficult to dissect what proportion is unwillingness and what proportion is powerlessness. The Treasury always assumes that it is unwillingness until it has been proved to the contrary.


Is it not an indication that the limit of direct taxation has now been reached?