HL Deb 13 February 1958 vol 207 cc708-10

Exemption under the Schedule to the Stamp Act, 1891, and other Acts

(1) Receipt given for money deposited in any bank, or with any banker, to be accounted for and expressed to be received of the person to whom the same is to be accounted for.

(2) Acknowledgment by any banker of the receipt of any bill of exchange or promissory note for the purpose of being presented for acceptance or payment.

(3) Receipt given for or upon the payment of any Parliamentary taxes or duties, or of money to or for the use of Her Majesty.

(4) Receipt given by an officer of a public department of the State for money paid by way of imprest or advance, or in adjustment of an account, where he derives no personal benefit therefrom.

(5) Receipt given by any agent for money imprested to him on account of the pay of the army.

[(6) Receipt given for or on account of any salary, pay or wages, or for or on account of any other like payment made to or for the account or benefit of any person, being the holder of an office or an employee, in respect of his office or employment, or for or on account of money paid in respect of any pension, superannuation allowance, compassionate allowance or other like allowance(a).]

(7) Receipt given for any principal money or interest due on an exchequer bill.

[(8) Receipt written upon a bill of exchange or promissory note duly stamped, or upon a bill drawn by any person under the authority of the Admiralty, upon and payable by the Accountant General of the Navy(b).]

(9) Receipt given upon any bill or note of the Bank of England or the Bank of Ireland.

(10) Receipt given for the consideration money for the purchase of any share in any of the Government or Parliamentary stocks or funds, or in the stocks and funds of the Secretary of State in Council of India, or [in India stock as defined in section two of the East India Loans Act, 1937, or in the stocks and funds(c)] of the Bank of England, or of the Bank of Ireland, or for any dividend paid on any share of the said stocks or funds respectively.

(11) Receipts indorsed or otherwise written upon or contained in any instrument liable to stamp duty, and duly stamped, acknowledging the receipt of the consideration money therein expressed, or the receipt of any principal money, interest, or annuity thereby secured or therein mentioned.

(12) Receipt given for any allowance by way of drawback or otherwise upon the exportation of any goods or merchandise from the United Kingdom.

(13) Receipt given for the return of any duty of customs upon a certificate of over entry.

[(14) Receipt given by or on behalf of an officer of a county court, or, in Scotland, by or on behalf of a Sheriff Clerk, for money received by him from a party to any proceedings in court(d).]

[(14A) Receipt given in respect of any sum payable as compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1925(d).]

[(15) Receipt given by or on behalf of a clerk to justices or a magistrate or other person authorised to receive such payment, or in Scotland, any clerk of court of any Court of Summary Criminal Jurisdiction as defined by the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Act, 1908, or other authorised person, for money received in respect of a fine or other sum ordered to be paid by a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, or as bail(d).]

There are also numerous exemptions from receipt stamp duty under various Acts of Parliament, e.g., Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1919, s. 49; National Health Service Act, 1946, s. 73; etc.

  1. (a) Substituted by F.A., 1924, s. 36. See also the Tithe Act, 1925, s. 15.
  2. (b) Repealed by F.A., 1895, s. 9. The proviso, however, to the repeal is important: "Provided Hat neither the name of a banker (whether accompanied by words of receipt or not) written in the ordinary course of his business as a banker upon a bill of exchange or promissory note duly stamped, nor the name of the payee written upon a draft order or, if payable to order shall constitute a receipt chargeable with stamp duty" (ibid.).
  3. (c) Added by the East India Loans Act, 1937, s. 2 (7).
  4. (d) Substituted by the F.A., 1930, s. 44. The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1925, was repealed, with savings, by the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946, s. 89 and Schedule 9.


My Lords, we are very grateful to the noble Marquess for having eased our minds by making this statement. Some of us were under the fear that we might be condoning offences in our ordinary activities. I am glad that is not so. As to having made a mistake in law, I am sure the House will readily forgive the noble Marquess. It is a thing which happens to all of us at times, and the moral of it is to avoid giving information about the law as far as possible.


My Lords, I appreciate very much what the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, has said, and I will certainly try to apply the moral.


My Lords, arising out of the statement of the noble Marquess, may I say that I think the public are still puzzled as regards the general position. It has been described two or three times to the House, but it is still somewhat confusing. Would it be possible somehow for the general public to be enlightened as to what the legal obligations are, because I am sure that the bulk of the tradesmen, or for that matter, the people who pay the bills, just do not know. If that could be done I think it would be to the general weal of the public.


My Lords, I should like to satisfy the noble Lord, Lord Killearn, and I have done my utmost to make clear what appears to me, apart from this item over which I was at fault, to be a perfectly simple matter. The law has not been changed with regard to the Stamp Act at all. All that has happened, as I have said on more than one occasion, is that the law has been changed in so far as unendorsed cheques are concerned; otherwise the law remains as it was. Therefore, the position regarding receipts is completely unaltered.


My Lords, I think the noble Marquess said that the action to be taken, if you receive a receipt which is not properly stamped, is to report it to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. Is that right?


My Lords, with all due respect, if the noble Lord had listened to the statement which I have just made, he would have understood that there is no legal obligation to report to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. But if the noble Lord wishes to receive a stamped receipt for an amount of £2 or over it must be given him on demand. I hope that is clear.


I thank the noble Marquess.


My Lords, would the noble Marquess consider going on television on this matter and, perhaps, being cross-questioned by the noble Lord, Lord Killearn, possibly in Woman's Hour?