HC Deb 04 February 1954 vol 523 cc551-2
44. Mr. Gough

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what special instructions have been issued recently by the Board of Inland Revenue to inspectors of taxes for special scrutiny of claims for business entertainment; whether he is satisfied that there are enough personnel to carry out these duties efficiently and impartially; and what is the estimated saving to the Exchequer.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No special instructions have been issued on this subject. As I stated on 8th July last, a new form of return was introduced in 1953 to make the position clearer to employers. Inspectors of taxes have been reminded that the Government expect the law to be uniformlyand properly enforced, and have been given general guidance in the matter.

The answer to the second part of the Question is, "Yes."I can give no estimate in reply to the third part of the Question.

Mr. Gough

Would my right hon. Friend agree that, whereas his reply will be universally approved, there is a fear among the already overburdened inspectors of taxes that the instructions which they received recently cannot possibly be carried out without very large increases in their staff?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I fully appreciate the burden of work which falls on the devoted officers of the Inland Revenue, but I understand that they have no undue difficulty in operating this particular matter.

Mr. Nicholson

Is my hon. Friend aware that if the Revenue Department is overworked the ordinary citizen would be only too willing to relieve it of some of its duties?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am sure that they would tend to differ among themselves as to the direction in which the relief should be given.