Clause 20. — (Reserved Taxes.)

Postponed Clauses. – in the House of Commons on 29th October 1920.

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  1. (1) The imposing, charging, levying, and collection of customs duties and of excise duties on articles manufactured and produced and the granting of customs and excise drawbacks and allowances, and, except to the extent hereinafter mentioned, the imposing, charging, levying, and collection of income tax (including super-tax) and excess profits duty, shall be reserved matters, and the proceeds of those duties and taxes shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom.
  2. (2) The Joint Exchequer Board shall in each year determine what part of the proceeds of the said duties and taxes (except such of those proceeds as consist of arrears of excess profits duty payable in respect of any period before the passing of this Act) are properly attributable to Ireland, and in making that calculation the Board shall treat the proceeds collected in Ireland of any such duty or tax as the proceeds of that duty or tax in Ireland, subject to such adjustments as the Board think equitable, with a view to attributing to Ireland any proceeds of any of such duties and taxes collected in Great Britain but properly attributable to Ireland and to attributing to Great Britain the proceeds of any such duties and taxes collected in Ireland but properly attributable to Great Britain, and the sum so determined to be the Irish share of the proceeds of the said duties and taxes is hereinafter referred to as the Irish share of reserved taxes.
  3. (3) Subject as aforesaid the Joint Exchequer Board may make regulations for determining the manner in which in cases of doubt the proceeds of such duties and taxes as aforesaid are to be apportioned as between Great Britain and Ireland.
  4. (4) The Commissioners of Customs and Excise and the Commissioners of Inland Revenue shall furnish to the Joint Exchequer Board such information as the Board may require for the purposes aforesaid, and to enable the Commissioners to furnish such information the Commissioners may require any taxpayer in any return made by him under any enactment imposing any such duty or tax to furnish such information as may be necessary for the purpose.
  5. (5) The reservation of the levying of such duties and taxes as aforesaid shall include a reservation of all powers and obligations incidental to the levying thereof or designed for preventing the evasion thereof, and all powers and obligations respecting coastwise traffic contained in the enactments relating to Customs.

Amendment made: In Sub-section (1), after the word "duty" ["and excess profits duty"], insert the words, "Corporation Profits tax and any other tax on profits."—[Sir L. Worthington-Evans.]

Lieut.-Commander HILTON YOUNG:

I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), after the word "adjustments" ["subject to such adjustments"], to insert the words in the case of customs duties and of excise duties on articles manufactured and produced but not in the case of income tax (including super-tax) or of excess profits duty.

I move this Amendment in order to have an opportunity of saying something which possibly bears upon it. I quite recognise that it would completely upset the financial basis of the Bill as it at present stands, because it would produce a very large deficit in the Irish Revenue account, but as the right hon. Gentleman will no doubt have appreciated, it was put down in order to call attention to some of the difficulties in the way of the Joint Exchequer Board and to point out in what direction they lie. I have described in some detail in a previous discussion the difficulties as to what is true attributable revenue and the true allocation of Income Tax and other difficulties which it would not be in order to discuss now. The principal one is taxable capacity. I strongly urge that the Bill is laying up very great troubles in store for the Joint Exchequer Board, many of which could be avoided by completely accepting the Bill, even in its present form, but after doing that by laying down some rule for the guidance of the Joint Exchequer Board, in order to remove some of the more controversial questions out of the sphere of strife at the Board, so that the suggestion that I should like to make, which is all that remains to be done in connection with the Amendments which stand in my name, is to ask whether it might not be worth consideration to have a Schedule laying down a few guiding principles upon the very difficult and controversial matters in order to remove some of them from the ambit of the controversies of the Joint Exchequer Board. I imagine that the Treasury view on most of these matters is formulated and could be formulated in a schedule. If that be so, it might be accepted in the crises of controversy at the proceedings of the Board. It seems to me that it is a practical suggestion that it might be worth while to express those views in a schedule in order to assist the Board and to limit the sphere of operation of controversy at the Board.

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

I think the object of my hon. and gallant Friend is not to press the Amendment, but to give vent to a very useful suggestion. If a schedule could be prepared which really covered the ground the Government would be interested to see it, and would endeavour to accept the suggestion which my hon. and gallant Friend makes, if it would form a basis for the guidance of the Joint Exchequer Board. I realise that the difficulties of the Joint Exchequer Board are going to be very great. If you begin to define some of the very many variants of taxable capacity you may make the task even more difficult. You may leave out some considerations which they probably ought to take into account. It is for that reason that no atempt has been made to try to put in schedule from the exact considerations which they will be bound to take into account. If we could get a really good, complete schedule agreed it would be a step in advance. I shall be very anxious to see a schedule drawn up by my hon. and gallant Friend, and I should very much like to confer with him privately upon the subject and see whether such a schedule could be added to the Bill.

Amendment negatived.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.