HL Deb 24 July 1879 vol 248 cc1167-8

asked the Lord President of the Council, What amount of Income Tax is to be paid by landlords whose rents have been reduced since last year owing to the existing severe depression of agriculture. Also, what tenants are to pay, who can prove that they have made no profit on their occupation during the last year?


said, in reply to the first Question, that the Income Tax assessed under Schedule A was paid by the landlord through his tenant, who afterwards deducted it from the rent. The amount on which the tax was levied was either based on the actual rent or the annual value, as the District Commissioners might think fit to assess it. If the landlord remitted a portion of the rent, that was a private arrangement between himself and his tenant which took the form of a mere casual reduction for the year. It might, therefore, be quite in the power of the landlord to say to the tenant that he would remit a certain proportion of the rent minus the Income Tax, and then the tenant would pay the tax as before. If, however, as the noble Earl seemed to put the point, the reduction of rent was to be permanent, then, of course, it would be open to the tenant to apply to the Commissioners and to state that the rent upon which the assessment had been made was no longer the rent of his farm. As to the second Question—which came under the head of Schedule B—all that would be necessary was, that the tenant should go to the Commissioners and prove to them that he had made no profit out of his business, and that, therefore, he ought not to be taxed an an income which he had never received. The two cases were, in fact, quite distinct. The arrangement between the landlord and his tenant was one between themselves and not between them and the Government; while, in the second case, all that the tenant had to do was to show the Commissioners that he had made no profit out of his farm.