HC Deb 17 May 1916 vol 82 cc1538-9W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the effect of the fourth paragraph of Subsection (2) of Section 29 of the Finance (No. 2) Bill may be such that duty will be payable when there is in fact no excess profit, taking two accounting periods together as one whole period; will he, in relation to this, consider the specific case of a company whose pre-war standard, using round numbers, was £10,000 and whose profits for the first and second accounting period, after deducting £200 in each case, were roughly £8,000 and £12,000, respectively, so that, in spite of the fact that for the period as a whole there were no excess profits, duty to the amount of £200 is payable, being 60 per cent. upon the excess in the second period after deduction of 50 per cent. upon the deficiency in the first period; and will he take steps to secure that the amount of duty payable in respect of two more accounting periods taken together as a whole period shall in no case exceed duty upon the net excess for such period calculated at the average rate of duty in force in relation to such period?


The rate of duty is necessarily governed by the period in which profits arise, and, as the hon. Member is aware, I do not propose to make the increased rate retrospective to the commencement of the tax. In these circumstances I cannot see my way to accept the hon. Member's suggestion