§ Sir W. SMILES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the undertaking given to the House by the Solicitor-General on 13th June, 1923, with regard to the adjustment of Income Tax liability still remains in operation; if he is aware that the Board of Inland Revenue, in implementing that undertaking, discriminates between one taxpayer and another, thereby causing inequity and hardship; and if he will now give an assurance that, where such discrimination has taken place, the case in question will receive consideration with a view to the undertaking aforesaid being strictly adhered to?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I think that my hon. and gallant Friend is under a misapprehension. Following upon a discussion in the course of the Finance Bill of 1923 of the then practice of the Board of Inland Revenue in giving relief in certain classes of cases of overpayment of Income Tax, it was decided to put the matter on a statutory basis, and this was done by Section 24 of the Finance Act, 1923. Claims for relief in such cases now fall to be dealt with by reference to the provisions of this Section (as extended 2049W by later legislation), and under these provisions any taxpayer, who is aggrieved by the determination of the Board of Inland Revenue on his application, has a statutory right of appeal, to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax.
§ Sir R. GOWER
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many persons having incomes of £200 a year and under were assessed for Income Tax in respect of the year 1933–34; and what the annual cost to the Treasury would be if Income Tax were remitted on all incomes of £200 a year and under?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
As the assessments to Income Tax are not classified by reference to total income, it is regretted that the information asked for regarding assessments in 1933 is not available. The graduation of the Income Tax is not determined solely by refernce to total income, but depends upon whether the income is earned income or investment income and upon the personal allowances and reliefs to which a taxpayer may be entitled by reason of family or other responsibilities. I am afraid, therefore, that it is not practicable to attempt an estimate of the cost of the suggestion in the question without knowing the changes which such an exemption must necessarily entail in the personal allowances by which the Income Tax is graduated.