HC Deb 11 March 1980 vol 980 c550W
Mr. Faulds

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, pursuant to his written answer to the hon. Member for Warley, East, Official Report, 22 February, column 377, he will specify the statutory authority for the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to withhold any fraction or percentage of the tax exemption on heritage objects which they have accepted according to law in satisfaction of tax by means of applying to such objects, from 1956 onwards, the computations of an adminstrative arrangement originally adopted in 1953, following the report of the Waverley committee, for the different purpose of indicating to qualified public purchasers by private treaty sale of tax-exempted works of art the minimum extent to which, in fixing a purchase price, those purchasers ought to make good therein to the vendor some proportion of his tax exemption.

Mr. Peter Rees

[pursuant to his reply, 4 March 1980, c. 144]: As stated in my written reply of 22 February—[Vol. 979, c. 377]—there is no statutory authority for the douceur. The legislation is silent on how the benefit of the tax exemption should be apportioned between the vendor and the acquiring body. However, it has been the practice of successive Governments to apply the principle recommended by the Waverley committee on the export of works of art both to exempt objects sold by private treaty to a body listed in paragraph 12 of schedule 6 to the Finance Act 1975 and exempt objects accepted in satisfaction of tax.

The Commissioners of Inland Revenue derive no advantage from this administrative arrangement in the case of objects accepted in satisfaction of tax. The acquirer's benefit normally accrues to the National Land Fund. It is, therefore, available for heritage purposes and will continue to be available, under the arrangements provided for in part II of the National Heritage Bill.