HC Deb 09 March 1936 vol 309 cc1803-4
76. Major HILLS

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that there is no appeal against assessments for Death Duty made by the Inland Revenue except to the High Court, and that such a proceeding is far too expensive for most people, he will insert a Clause in the next Finance Bill allowing an appeal to the local Income Tax Commissioners in the case of moderate estates, reserving to both parties a final right of appeal to the High Court if dissatisfied?


I would remind my right hon. and gallant Friend that an appeal on the ground of over-valuation of real or leasehold property against a charge of Estate Duty lies in the first instance to a referee, and that in other cases an appeal by a person aggrieved on any ground may, if the value of the property in dispute does not exceed £10,000, be to the county court, instead of to the High Court. The existing procedure which (except as regards valuation of real or leasehold property) has been in force since the introduction of the Estate Duty in 1894, has not, so far as I am aware, been the subject of any serious criticism nor has there been any pronounced expression of opinion in favour of its alteration. In these circumstances am not prepared to adopt the far-reaching suggestion made by my right hon. and gallant Friend.


Does the hon. and learned Gentleman's answer also refer to chattels and personal property or does it only include real estate and leasehold property? Does it, for instance, include furnishings and works of art?


I would like notice of that question. If the hon. Baronet will put it down in a clear way, I may be able to answer it without giving rise to misapprehension.