HC Deb 28 July 1910 vol 19 cc2506-8W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in assessing the income of a husband who has been deserted by his wife, her separate income is still treated as a portion of his; whether the same rule applies to the collection of Super-tax; or whether in such eases the husband is entitled to abatement in respect of the income of a wife who is no longer living with him?


The general rule is that, where there is sufficient evidence to show that the wife has deserted her husband, the incomes of the two are treated separately for purposes of assessment to ordinary Income Tax; and the Special Commissioners will have to consider whether the same rule should not apply to the collection of Super-tax, if an actual case of desertion should arise in practice.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the instructions issued by the Special Commissioners for Income Tax with the form for return for assessment of Super-tax are not in accordance with the provisions of Section 66, Sub-section 2, of the Finance Act, in that the instructions require the earned income to be arrived at on the basis of the average profits for the three years ended 5th April, 1908, and the unearned income for the year ended 5th April, 1909, whereas the Act provides that the Super-tax shall be assessed on the total income from all sources for the year previous to that in which the tax is payable; whether, in view of the fact that the instructions require the return being made in such form that involve Super-tax being levied in the same year upon income derived from capital employed in business up to 5th April, 1908, and upon the same capital if withdrawn and invested during 1909, he will instruct the Special Commissioners to withdraw the instructions and issue fresh instructions in accordance with the Act; and whether he will extend the limit of time by which the returns must be made by such reasonable period as will allow for the instructions to be comprehended and the forms completed and returned?


I am not aware that there is anything in the instructions issued with the forms of return for Super-tax which is inconsistent with the provisions of the recent Finance Act. Super-tax for the year 1909–10 is chargeable on the basis of the income for the previous year (1908–9) computed as for purposes of exemptions or abatements under the Income Tax Acts. The income so computed is the statutory income in respect of which Income Tax was payable for 1908–9 under one or other of the Schedules of the Income Tax Acts and on the basis subscribed by those Acts. As regards the second part of the question, it is not the case that income derived from investments in a given financial year is chargeable to Income Tax a second time for the same financial year as though it were derived from another source, and it is equally not the case with regard to Super-tax. In reply to the third part of the question, I may explain that reasonable facilities are afforded in any case in which the circumstances justify them.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the reason why persons entitled to relief by exemption or abatement under the Income Tax Act, 1890, are now required by the Board of Inland Revenue to pay the tax in full and then to claim repayment, instead of being permitted to claim abatement or exemption and have their claims allowed by Surveyors of Taxes as formerly done and as is still done in relation to tax-payers under Schedules D and E; whether he is aware that such alteration of procedure involves inconvenience and sometimes hardship. particularly in relation to persons of scanty resources who have to find and pay over what to them may be considerable sums, and of which they cannot get repayment for some two or three months; and whether such altered practice causes much extra work to the officials of the Department?


As regards the first part of the question, if by the Income Tax Act, 1890, the hon. Member refers to the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1890, I may draw his attention to the provision of Section 23 of that Act, which authorises the relief granted by that Section to be made by way of repayment only. This course has always been adopted, and there has been no change of practice as suggested in the second part of the question, and consequently the third part does not arise.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can state whether, under the Income Law, profits received by a married woman living with her husband cannot be charged with Income Tax in her own name, but must be charged in the name of the husband?


I may refer the hon. Member to Section 45 of the Income Tax Act, 1842, and to Section 5 (1) of the Finance Act, 1897.