§ Mr. Gordon Brown
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each year since 1979 the number of persons reporting dividend income to the Inland Revenue.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
[holding answer 2 November 1987]: The number of single people and married couples reporting receipt of dividend income to the Inland Revenue in each year since 1979–80 is estimated to be in the region of 1½ million. The number of such reports depends upon the number of taxpayers who are asked to complete tax returns. Fewer taxpayers have been asked to complete tax returns in recent years. Since liability to income tax at the basic rate on United Kingdom dividend income is satisfied at source, an operational need for tax offices to know about the receipt of dividend income arises at present only in possible cases of liability to higher rate tax, restriction of age allowance, repayment of tax and certain other limited circumstances.
It is estimated from a Treasury-Stock Exchange survey that early this year there were 81½ million people holding shares—almost three times the number in 1979.