§ Sir F. NELSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what principle underlies the Regulation that in the valuation of estates for probate the market price of stocks is interpreted by the authorities as being the price at which there are buyers of the stock in question, plus one-quarter up from the lower to the higher of the official closing prices, i.e., an addition of one-quarter of the official difference between closing buying rates and selling rates; and why, if it is the practice to base the market value of property for probate on the price which, in the opinion of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, such property would fetch if sold in the open market, the authorities refuse to allow brokers' commission, etc., and take the gross sum realised as the amount on which duty is payable?
§ Mr. McNEILL
In determining the market value of publicly-quoted stocks and shares for purposes of Estate Duty, 2163W it is the practice of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, in cases where bargains have actually been done on the day of death, to accept, a figure representing the mean of the different prices; in cases where no such bargains have been done, market value is taken as¼ up from the lower to the higher quotation in the official list. With regard to the last part of the question, the price which a stock or share would fetch if sold in the open market, as provided in the Statute, is the gross amount realisable on sale, and not the net amount after deduction of broker's commission.