HC Deb 29 November 1955 vol 546 cc2116-7
53. Mr. Daises

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether expenses incurred at publicity lunches by book publishers are allowable under tax regulations as expenses for Income Tax purposes.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Such expenses are allowable if incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade.

Mr. Daines

Does not the Chancellor think it very regrettable that occasions of this sort should be used to glamorise crime, even if the occasion is graced by the presence of Lady Docker and her husband?

Mr. Butler

I am not prepared to go into particular tax matters or particular personalities. I will therefore make no observation upon the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question.

Mr. H. Wilson

Is not the anomalous situation due to the fact that under the law which has existed for many years the Chancellor's phrase is "wholly and exclusively" and not "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" which would apply to the Income Tax assessments of all hon. Members of this House and all individuals charged upon a professional basis? Is it not a further fact that, by and large, it is the decision of the company concerned and not of the Inland Revenue which determines whether these payments are to be regarded as being wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade?

Mr. Butler

The company decides about undertaking a function, but the Inland Revenue always has its opportunity of interpreting Section 137 of the Income Tax Act. 1952.