HC Deb 04 February 1964 vol 688 cc952-3
5. Mr. Wade

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total number of demands for Schedule A Income Tax that have been sent out for the current year.

Mr. Green

About 3¾ million.

Mr. Wade

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that considerable confusion and concern have been caused by the receipt of demands for Schedule A, even though in some cases they have been accompanied by an explanatory memorandum? In the hope of clearing up this confusion, may I ask two simple questions? First, is it true that in the current tax year the owner-occupier of freehold premises no part of which is let has no liability to any Schedule A tax, and, if so why have the demands been sent? Secondly, is it not correct that after 6th April, 1964, no one will be liable to any Schedule A tax and that after that date Schedule A tax will be finally abolished?

Mr. Green

If demands have been incorrectly sent, that is quite wrong and apologies will be made in any such cases. I should like to know of any such case, and perhaps I may have details of it. In response to the second question, perhaps I can best help the hon. Gentleman by referring him to my right hon. Friend's statement of 3rd April, 1963, column 457–8 of the OFFICIAL REPORT. If he remains in doubt, having read that original source of information, perhaps he will communicate with me.

Mr. Stratton Mills

When letters are written to the collectors of taxes on matters arising out of demands for Schedule A, will my hon. Friend encourage them to reply to such correspondence?

Mr. Green

So far as I know, they do, but again, if my hon. Friend has any case in mind, I am sure that I can be of help to him if only he will tell me what it is.

Mr. Rankin

Is it not the case that owner-occupiers in Scotland who pay feu duty will continue to pay Schedule A tax?

Mr. Green

The position after this year will be that the owner-occupier paying either ground duty or feu duty will pay the full amount of that ground rent or feu duty, without deduction of tax, to the ground landlord who, in his turn, will be responsible for any tax that properly falls upon it.

Mr. Callaghan

Is it not also the case that the person who pays the ground rent will not be able to regard it as a charge on his income next year and, to that extent, will be worse off than he has been so far?

Mr. Green

Rent has never been regarded in the light in which the hon. Gentleman is apparently now suggesting it should be regarded. It is a perfectly proper expense incurred by people on whom it falls to pay it, and there are no grounds for thinking differently now.