Skip to main content

Income Tax

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 23 June 1949

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that in making Income Tax returns, it is legitimate to deduct, by way of expenses, a reasonable expenditure upon necessary entertainments, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue will accept claims for such expenses incurred prior to 5th April, 1948.

I am not clear as to the type of case which the hon. Member has in mind. If he would send me particulars I will look into the matter.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will reconsider the decision to insist upon the payment of Income Tax in a case, particulars of which have been sent to him, in which the liability arose while the taxpayer was a prisoner of war in respect of earnings by the taxpayer's wife, despite express requests by the latter to the Inland Revenue at the time that appropriate deductions by way of Pay as You Earn should be made from her earnings.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while his letter is couched in the usual courteous terms, it does not carry the matter any further; and is it not a fact that this liability arose while the taxpayer was a prisoner of war in Germany and arose solely by reason of an error in the tax office? In the circumstances, is it fair to pursue this man into civil life with this liability?

Unfortunately, I have not the authority to allow arrears of Income Tax to go unpaid. Secondly, there is some dispute whether the facts alleged by the hon. Gentleman are correct.

Arising out of the first answer, is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps on the Finance Bill to arm himself with the powers which he says he unfortunately lacks?

Will not the right hon. Gentleman give some answer to this question, because it was admitted generally by the House over 12 months ago that the House would be only too willing to see this moderate reform carried out?

It can hardly be described as a moderate reform, but the point is, if people who owe arrears of tax do not pay, then those who have paid might feel it would be very unfair to them.

Is not this a most unfortunate attitude on the part of the Financial Secretary. [Interruption.] I am asking whether the right hon. Gentleman does not feel that it is a most unfortunate attitude that we must avoid all reforms of small injustices because great injustices go unredressed?