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New Clause 4

Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1975

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Interest On Tax Overpaid To Be Disregarded In Computing Income

' (1) Where any amount of petroleum revenue tax paid by a participator in an oil field is, under any provision of Part I of this Act, repaid to him with interest the amount of the interest paid to him shall be disregarded in computing the amount of his income for the purposes of corporation tax.

(2) In this section "oil field" and "participator" have the same meaning as in Part of this Act'.—[ Mr. Dell.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

6.45 p.m.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

With this clause, it will be convenient to take Government Amendments Nos. 164 and 165 and Government Amendments Nos. 179 to 181.

The new clause fulfils a commitment that interest paid to a participator on any overpayment of PRT is not liable to corporation tax. The new Clause puts that commitment into effect. Amendment No. 164 makes it clear that the 9 per cent. interest rate laid down in the Bill for arrears of PRT is a rate per annum.

Amendment No. 165 deals with the overpayment of PRT and ensures that it will carry interest at 9 per cent. per annum.

Amendments Nos. 179 and 180 delete the provisions under which interest is paid to a participator who is found to have overpaid tax as a result of a successful appeal on an allowable expenditure. The provisions as they originally existed are replaced by a more general rule for the payment of interest on overpaid tax.

Finally Amendment No. 181 makes it clear that the 9 per cent. rate of interest payable by a participator when the courts reverse a decison by the Special Commissioners is a rate per annum. I hope that the House will accept these provisions.

I am sure that we all take great pleasure in the fact that the first speech made today by the Minister of State, Treasury, was one that acknowledged the merits of the arguments advanced in Committee. It marks a return to the norm of the hon. Gentleman's naturally sunny disposition and conciliatory manner—an attitude not always shared by his colleagues. Normally, the hon. Gentleman likes to meet us more than half way. He has done so in these provisions. I only wish that the Chief Secretary, who is now leaving the Chamber, was always as forthcoming. Their association does not seem to have resulted in a full sharing out of the conciliatory attitude displayed by the Minister of State.

I say no more at this stage. We welcome these sensible amendments and also the new clause.

Question nut and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.