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Volume 415: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1945

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the shortage of clerical staffs and the consequent difficulty experienced by small employers, he will consider modifying the present system of monthly payments under Pay-as-you-earn by substituting therefor quarterly or at least two-monthly payments.

:I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the dates at which employers pay over to the Revenue the tax which they have deducted from salaries and wages. I do not think that the present procedure, which requires employers to pay to the Collector within 14 days from the end of a particular month the tax which they were required to deduct during that month under the P.A.Y.E. system, causes them any material difficulties. The objection to my hon. Friend's suggestion is that it would result in a delay in the tax reaching the Exchequer.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that unofficial strikes are helped by the operation of the Pay-as-you-earn system of Income Tax collection; and whether he will consider modifying the Pay-as-you-earn system to prevent repayment of tax to unofficial strikers.

As the law stands, tax paid up to any given date corresponds to the income up to that date. Therefore, if, for any reason, income falls or ceases some repayment of the tax already paid becomes due. It is hard to argue that a debt, that is legally due to the taxpayer, should not be paid.