HC Deb 20 April 1937 vol 322 cc1582-3
48. Mr. Peat

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the discount of 2½ per cent. on Income Tax paid before the due date is refused if no request for such discount is made at the time of payment, even though such a request for discount be received a few days after the payment of the tax; and whether this is the general practice?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)

Section 159 of the Income Tax Act, 1918, which authorises the allowance of discount on prepayment of tax under Schedule D, expressly provides that the allowance is to be made only on request made at the time of payment. I regret, therefore, that the Inland Revenue authorities have no power to allow discount where it has not been claimed at the time of payment.

Mr. Peat

Will not my right hon. and gallant Friend's Department take some action to bring their methods more into line with ordinary business and common sense?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I cannot give any undertaking. The terms of the Act are clear.

Mr. Thorne

Would it not pay the Treasury to give a discount for prompt payment?

Captain Harold Balfour

Will the Revenue authorities, when they receive payment in advance, draw the attention of the person making the payment, before accepting it formally, to the fact that, if he wishes, 2½ per cent, discount is available if he makes a proper application?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

I will note the suggestion, but the original question was one of fact, and I have answered it.