Minor Inland Revenue Changes

Financial Statement – in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

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In the field of Inland Revenue the Finance Bill will contain certain proposals for amendment of the law, some of which will necessitate Resolutions. These proposals, can, I think, best be considered when the Bill appears; it will contain the detailed provisions and opportunity for a general explanation will, no doubt, arise on the Report stage of the Resolutions. There is one, however, to which I should like to refer now. It concerns the taxation of lump sum payments made to authors for copyright. Under the existing law the lump sum payment is treated as income for the year -of receipt, even though the author may have spent some years on the work. With the present rates of taxation this may be very discouraging to literary effort, as was expounded recently by one of the leading figures in the literary world in a characteristically amusing letter to the Press. To meet this grievance the Finance Bill will contain provisions enabling an author, if he so desires, to spread a lump sum payment back over a period of three years, or the actual period of preparation of the work, if shorter. Although the proposal is essentially a measure of relief a Resolution is necessary on technical grounds.