Mr. Baker White
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he is aware that the Commissioners of Income Tax are refusing to fix a date for the hearing of appeals of tithepayers against the decision by the inspector of taxes to include the value of the farmhouses and cottages in the Schedule B assessment of an agricultural holding when issuing certificates for the calculation of tithe assessment; whether he will state the reason for this delay; and what steps he will take to arrange for an early hearing of these appeals.
(2) if he is aware of the widespread dissatisfaction among tithepayers against the decision taken in certain areas by inspectors of taxes to include the value of the farmhouses and cottages in the Schedule B assessment of an agricultural holding when issuing certificates for the calculation of tithe assessment; whether he is further aware that in certain districts completely opposite decisions have been given; and whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the whole method of assessment in regard to tithepayers.
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall
Whether the value of farmhouses and farm cottages should be included in the annual value of a holding depends upon the use to which they are put, and it would be inaccurate to say that completely opposite decisions have been 287W given. The interpretation to be placed upon the relative provisions of the Tithe Act, 1936, is, however, in dispute, and arrangements have consequently been made for a test case to be brought before the High Court. In the meantime, in a number of cases where notice of appeal to the General Commissioners of Income Tax has been given, the hearing has been deferred, but the tithepayer is in no way prejudiced by the delay.