HC Deb 02 May 1950 vol 474 cc1570-1
47. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps were taken to ascertain whether return forms had reached certain employees of a Surbiton firm whose particulars have been sent to him before action was taken to increase their Pay-As-You-Earn liability notwithstanding the fact that no change had taken place in their earnings.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Stafford Cripps)

At least four communications were sent to each of these employees; none of these was returned undelivered.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman satisfied that to go on sending notices to the wrong addresses amounts to making effective inquiries, and is he now aware of the fact that the Pay-As-You-Earn liability of several people was raised deliberately because of the non-return of forms, which these gentlemen had not received?

Sir S. Cripps

According to our experience, forms which are not delivered are returned to the Inland Revenue office, and none of these was returned.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

But has the right hon. and learned Gentleman satisfied himself that any of these forms were delivered to the recipients who were penalised for their non-return?

Sir S. Cripps

It is not possible to satisfy oneself except by the means of knowing that the forms are not returned to the sender.

65. Mr. J. H. Hare

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will consider working out some method by which employers can be saved the trouble of filling in Pay-As-You-Earn tax deduction cards for those of their employees whose high code numbers ensure that they have to pay no tax.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Douglas Jay)

Employers are already instructed that the card need not be filled up every week, if it is obvious that no tax will be deductible.

Mr. Hare

Can the hon. Gentleman give some publicity to this? So many people are having to fill up forms for employees who do not pay tax, and if he would be prepared to give this some publicity it would prevent the expenditure of a lot of unnecessary time and energy.

Mr. Jay

I quite agree. There is already a pamphlet entitled " Employer's Guide to Pay-As-You-Earn " which, I understand, is fairly widely circulated.

Mr. Eden

Will the hon. Gentleman consider making a further statement and explaining when it ceases to be " evident " and becomes " obvious "?

Mr. Jay

I think we leave that to the discretion of employers.