HL Deb 16 May 1962 vol 240 cc621-2

2.24 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there are any administrative objections and, if so what they are, to extending to the stamping of share transfer certificates the same facilities recently granted to insurance companies to account in bulk for duty instead of having these documents separately stamped by embossment.]


My Lords, I am grateful for the noble Lord's suggestion, but there would be serious administrative objections to this proposal. One of the principal advantages of the present arrangement is the comparative simplicity and cheapness of collecting the duty. Any procedure under which the brokers accounted for the duty in bulk would involve regular inspections by the Inland Revenue of the brokers' books, and this would add considerably to the complexity and to the cost of administration.

Moreover, the Inland Revenue rely on company registrars to ensure (in accordance with the duty placed upon them by law) that the transfers presented to them for registration are properly stamped. Any procedure for accounting for the duty could at best apply only to Stock Exchange transfers. Transfers not passing through a Stock Exchange would have to bear an impressed stamp as at present. But the registrar would have no sure means of distinguishing Stock Exchange transfers from others. It might be suggested that Stock Exchange transfers should bear some distinguishing mark, but there would be opportunities for irregularities. The noble Lord will be aware that the duty on a single transfer may be very large.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his full reply, and for the obvious trouble he has taken to pursue this matter with the Inland Revenue. I hope he will be as courteous in the future if, when I have had the opportunity of studying his reply, I return to this subject with perhaps some suggestions for overcoming some of the difficulties he has so well enumerated.


My Lords, I shall be glad to have the opportunity of replying further to the noble Lord.

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