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Income Tax Commissioners

Volume 974: debated on Monday 19 November 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many general commissioners for income tax there are; how many cases are heard by them each year; of those cases, how many are cases which have been delayed; and what is the cost of the cases heard.

[pursuant to his reply, 16 November 1979]: There are some 4,500 general commissioners for income tax in England and Wales and some 600 in Scotland. There are no general commissioners in Northern Ireland. In the calendar year 1977 11,814 appeals on matters of substance and 839,208 delay appeals were heard in England and Wales, and 244 appeals on matters of substance and 28,214 delay appeals were disposed of in Scotland. General commissioners are not themselves paid but employ clerks—mostly solicitors in private practice on a part-time basis—and their remuneration and office expenses etc. for the year ended 31 March 1979 amounted to some £1·2 million.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many special commissioners for income tax there are; how many cases are heard by them each year; and what is the total cost of these cases.

[pursuant to his reply, 16 November 1979]: There are seven special commissioners for income tax. In the year ended 31 March 1978 they sat for 302 hearings involving 809 appeals on matters of substance and for 131 sittings involving 12,101 appeals on delay cases. A hearing may last several days and may involve several appeals. The cost of the special commissioners and their support staff in the year ended 31 March 1979 was of the order of £0·25 million.