HC Deb 12 March 1912 vol 35 cc1058-9W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the proprietor of the Thatched House Hotel, Epping, recently appealed to the Commissioners of Excise and Customs against the assessment of his property for Inhabited House Duty, on the grounds that the gross value as fixed by the local Commissioner of Taxes exceeds by £25 the gross value as determined by the Assessment Committee for Poor Law purposes; that the Commissioners of Excise and Customs, in a letter dated 3rd February, 1912, declined to reduce the value for Inhabited House Duty to the Poor Law basis, and insisted (in effect) upon regarding the motor garage, stables, loose boxes, etc., as part of the licensed premises, although alcoholic liquor is neither stored, sold, nor consumed therein; whether, having regard to Section 4 of the Finance Act, 1911, it is proposed to treat the stabling of horses and the storage of motor cars as identical with, and not ancillary to, the business of a licensed trader in alcoholic liquors; and whether he will direct that the Commissioners of Excise and Customs be requested to revise their decision and redress the grievance of which the appellant complains?


The Commissioners of Customs and Excise have nothing to do with assessments to Inhabited House Duty. These assessments are made by the local Commissioners of Taxes, to whom any appeal for reduction should be addressed. An application was recently made, under Section 4 of the Finance Act, 1911, to the Commissioners of Customs and Excise by the licence holder of the Thatched House Hotel, Epping, for reduction of the Duty on his licence on the ground that the stables, etc., included in the assessment were quite distinct from the hotel. According to the information furnished to the Commissioners it appears that the stables, motor garage, etc., are within the hotel yard, and are ordinarily used by persons resorting, to the licensed premises. In these circumstances the Commissioners decided that the annual value of the stables should be taken into account for the purpose of charging the duty on the licence, and upon the facts before me I see no reason for interfering with their decison. With regard to the definition of premises in Section 4 of the Finance Act, 1911, I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the Debates when that Section was under consideration, from which he will see that it was made clear that for the purpose of the charge of Licence Duty stables normally associated with the carrying on of the business of a trader in liquors would not be excluded from the area of the premises in which the trade is carried on.