Income Tax (Hardship Cases)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey 12:00, 25 October 1949

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what statutory powers he is enabled himself to deal with individual hardship cases in regard to Income Tax as distinct from arrears of Income Tax of general application.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

As explained by my right hon. Friend, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Baldwin) on 28th July last, the remission of tax on grounds of hardship is a matter for the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, who normally exercise their own discretion in individual cases but seek the approval of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for remissions of general application.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

Why did the Chancellor, during the Debates on the Finance Bill, inform the House that he had power to remit in cases of individual hardship, whereas normally the Chancellor of the Exchequer only reviews the general application of hardship?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Because the Commissioners of Inland Revenue operate under my control.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman say then whether he has in fact exercised his discretion in any individual case, or whether he proposes to do so?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Not so far as I can recollect.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

Can my right hon. Friend say what class of people receive this consideration? It is certainly not the "Pay-as-you-earn" people.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question down.