The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Derick Heathcoat Amory)
I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion.
§ Mr. Page
Is not it another of the anomalies under Schedule A tax that the owner-occupier of, for example, a residence costing £500 should have to pay tax and the owner-occupier of, for example, a caravan costing perhaps £1,000 should get off scot-free? Will my right hon. Friend look into this or possibly do away with Schedule A tax altogether?
As to the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, I will certainly look into this, as I will into any other point which is relevant to this Question that he cares to raise with me.
§ 2. Mr. Barter
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are taken by the Inland Revenue authorities to draw the attention of the taxpayer to his right, 180 in certain circumstances, to claim relief from Income Tax, Schedule A, on the sums expended on maintenance of his property, fire insurance and management where those exceed the statutory repairs allowance.
Attention is drawn to this relief in the notes accompanying demands and receipts for Schedule A tax, Income Tax return forms and Pay-As-You-Earn coding notices.
§ Mr. Barter
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it appears that between one-tenth and one-twelfth only of owner-occupiers make any claim in this connection? Will he bear in mind the need to draw attention to the entitlement to make this claim so that the other owner-occupiers, who are paying about £34 million a year in tax, may have an opportunity to secure some relief?
There is no guarantee that they would secure any relief, because that would depend on the circumstances. I think that the notices which are included are very adequate to the purpose.
I take it that my hon. Friend is referring to claims made by owner-occupiers. The principle is that the expenses which are admissible are those which are incurred by the owner-occupier as owner and not those which he incurs as occupier. The detailed application of this rule in cases of dispute is a matter for the General Commissioners of Income Tax.
I do not think that is necessary. It is just a question of what would normally be a landlord's 181 responsibility and what would normally be a tenant's responsibility, and that is precisely the line we try to draw.
No, I do not agree with my hon. Friend. The point here is what the man actually has to pay for.