HC Deb 26 April 1978 vol 948 cc587-8W
Mr. Maurice Macmillan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of countries which give whole or partial exemption from tax to the pensions received by retired officials from the international organisations listed in the International Organisations Act 1968.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

None of the international agreements relating to organisations to which the International Organisations Act 1968 applies provides for exemption from taxation by member countries of pensions paid to former officials. Such pensions are therefore subject to the appropriate national tax laws. United Kingdom law would not exempt them as such. It would not be possible, without a disproportionate amount of research, to say how other countries treated them.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of international organisations whose officials are exempt from United Kingdom tax under the International Organisations Act 1968 and what information is available to him of the number of other countries whose nationals are similarly exempt from tax while serving as officials in these international organisations.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the Written Answer I gave on 17th January 1977 (Vol. 924, cols. 43–44] to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis) specifying the Orders in Council made under the International Organisations Act 1968 which confer exemptions from United Kingdom tax on the staffs of the international organisations concerned.

Since then, the following further Orders in Council have been made under that Act:

Name of Organisation Statutory Instrument
The International Fund for Agricultural Development 1977 No. 824
The European Patent Organisation 1978 No. 179
The International Rubber Study Group 1978 No. 181

The obligation on a member country of an international organisation to give tax exemptions to its staff normally arises under the relevant international agreement and the number of countries prepared to give the exemptions may be expected to be the number subscribing to that agreement. Since membership of the United Nations involves the provision of such tax exemptions they are clearly given very widely. They vary, however, with the agreements. No information is readily available of the extent to which the staff of these organisations are exempted from tax by non-member countries.