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Woodlands (Taxation)

Volume 78: debated on Thursday 9 May 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what measures he is taking to review the tax reliefs available to private woodland owners in the light of the case at Crichness in East Lothian where afforestation proceeded despite the Forestry Commission refusing planting grants, and in the light of the recommendations and findings of the Eighth Report of the Committee of Public Accounts on the taxation of woodlands managed on a commercial basis;(2) what measures he takes to ensure that owners of forests claiming tax relief under schedule D are doing so only on schemes considered appropriate and viable by the Forestry Commission.

The tax treatment of forestry owners is determined under the appropriate tax law which does not differentiate between planting schemes which attract grant aid from the Forestry Commission and those which do not. The existing tax arrangements are of long standing and I have no plans at present to change them.