HC Deb 07 March 1940 vol 358 cc565-6
61. Mr. Thurtle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to a recent case in which the Official Receiver stated that there was a sum owing in respect of Income Tax and Surtax amounting to several hundred thousand pounds; what period of time was covered by these arrears; and why steps were not taken to enforce payment of the amount due to the Exchequer?

Sir J. Simon

The hon. Member is presumably referring to the case which was the subject of a Question on 5th March by the hon. Member for the Park Division of Sheffield (Mr. Lathan)—that of the estate of the late J. A. Phillips. As I stated in answer to that Question, I have called for a report on the matter.

Mr. Thurtle

Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer aware that a disclosure of a fact like this causes great indignation among taxpayers who discharge their duties. Will he, to avoid recurrence of this sort of thing, instruct his Department to enforce payment at a much earlier date than apparently is the case with large estates?

Sir J. Simon

I think, in the circumstances, I must wait for the report. Of course, I entirely agree that, as I said just now, the only proper course is to pay taxes promptly.