HC Deb 25 October 1966 vol 734 c807
13. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will allow fees paid by taxpayers to recognised accountants for completing tax returns to be deducted from gross tax liability, in view of the increased complexity of the returns.

Mr. Diamond

No, Sir.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Will the Chief Secretary re-examine this? Surely it is in the interests of the Exchequer to get tax returns filled in promptly and accurately? Would it not gain more than it would lose by accepting this?

Mr. Diamond

We are following the normal rule, whereby accountancy charges for valuations in arriving at the amount of the capital gain are deductible but charges for completing the income tax return are not allowed.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Do not a large number of taxpayers pay millions of £s a year in excess tax which they should not have to pay? Surely it is only right and proper that the Government should permit this allowance?

Mr. Diamond

It has long been the practice for taxpayers to have freedom to get advice if they require it. Some taxpayers with simple tax returns get advice; some with complicated Surtax returns do not get advice. It is up to the individual to make his decision.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Is not this another of the anomalies, pursued with such vigour by my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro), of the difference between the Schedule D and the Schedule E taxpayer? Is it not the fact that the Schedule D taxpayer is entitled to set off some part of his accountant's expenses against his tax return, while the Schedule E taxpayer is not?

Mr. Diamond

No, Sir, it is not anomalous. No, the Schedule D taxpayer is not so entitled. [Interruption.]