HC Deb 17 October 1916 vol 86 cc391-2W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he contends that the Entertainments Tax extends to the annual subscriptions of members to friendly societies of the character of the Druids, Oddfellows, Foresters, Buffaloes, and Freemasons, who are accustomed at their regular meetings to have refreshment, generally in the nature of a meal, followed by music; and what is the determining factor upon which it is contended the tax becomes payable?


No general ruling can be given to cover the cases referred to. The tax is leviable under Section 1 (4) of the Finance (New Duties) Act, if the subscription paid by a member does, in fact, include any payment for admission to any entertainment, and this can only be determined on consideration of the facts of each case. I am informed, however, by the Board of Customs and Excise, who are, under the Act, the authorities to decide the question, that while some entertainments would undoubtedly render the subscription liable to taxation, the mere fact that impromptu songs and music were given after a particular meeting would not in itself have this effect. Societies concerned should lay the facts before the Board for decision.