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Purchase Tax (Registration)

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 13 April 1954

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32, 33 and 34.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will give an undertaking that registration for Purchase Tax will not be withheld or withdrawn from wholesalers because of a fear of tax evasion, in view of the heavy penalties that can be imposed by the courts where there is evasion and the powers possessed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to demand adequate sureties where the integrity of an applicant is open to suspicion;

(2) if he will undertake that registration for Purchase Tax will not be withdrawn from wholesalers because of change of address or change of legal status where there is a good tax record prior to change of legal status, providing the construction of the company remains substantially the same;

(3) if he will undertake that registration for Purchase Tax will not be withheld from wholesalers for the convenience or believed more economic administion of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.

I think my hon. Friend will find our answers to all these Questions in the statement which the Financial Secretary to the Treasury made in the debate on the Adjournment on 18th March.

That is just what the Financial Secretary did not say. Will my right hon. Friend answer the point which I made to the effect that Her Majesty's Commissioners of Customs and Excise were ultra vires in their action following their interpretation of the Act, which view is supported by counsel? Will he look into the matter to see whether that is so?

If my hon. Friend feels that, perhaps he will put a Question about it on the Order Paper.