HC Deb 04 July 1923 vol 166 cc461-2W

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that in many instances where an appeal against a Schedule A assessment is notified to inspectors of taxes, the appellant subsequently receives a communication from an official describing himself as superintending valuer or district valuer asking for information to be furnished to him, the superintending or district valuer, regarding the property assessed or suggesting an interview with regard to the matter of the assessment; whether he will quote the statutory authority under which such action is taken by superintending valuers or district valuers; and will give an undertaking that the duties imposed by the legislation under which these assessments are being made are performed only by such persons as are specifically authorised by law to perform such duties?


I explained the manner in which the Valuation Department of the Board of Inland Revenue is co-operating, in regard to the Schedule A assessments, in a reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Brigadier-General Spears) on the 4th June. I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend a copy of that reply, from which he will see that under arrangements made with the knowledge and consent of the local commissioners of taxes, by whom the assessments were made, the valuers have advised the inspectors of taxes in connection with cases of special difficulty. Where, in any such case, an objection is lodged against an assess- ment of annual value, the objection is referred to the valuer concerned, who thereupon endeavours to reach agreement with the taxpayer and advises the inspector of any proposed adjustment. The inspector would normally recommend the amended figure to the local commissioners of taxes for their acceptance in accordance with the practice under which inspectors, with the sanction of the commissioners, endeavour to adjust assessments under all Schedules of Income Tax Acts. This practice, which is of great convenience to the public, in no way usurps the functions of the commissioners of taxes, or infringes upon the taxpayer's right to appear personally before these commissioners in support of his appeal, if he desires to do so.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, since, in view of the concessions already announced regarding assessments for Income Tax, Schedule A, many of the assessments already issued are incorrect, it is proposed to withdraw them or to compel appeals in the ordinary course?


As I stated when introducing the concessions to which my hon. Friend refers, the inspectors of taxes are being instructed that due effect is to be given to the revised deductions for Schedule A purposes and the amended annual value limits for Inhabited House Duty purposes, in the demands to be issued for the first payment of tax under the new assessments, which falls due on the 1st January, 1924.

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