Patents (Taxation)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th December 1957.

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Mr. Vane:

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the taxation advantages open to inventors in other countries; whether he is satisfied that British industry is not, in consequence, losing the benefit of inventions which have been initiated in this country and later developed overseas; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , Wolverhampton South West

My right hon. Friend will gladly study any evidence on this subject which my hon. Friend cares to send him.

Mr. Vane:

Is my hon. Friend aware that we are the only civilised country where the sales of patents are subject to tax? Is he also aware that the normal Income Tax regulations bear particularly hardly on a man who has spent some years developing a patent, and then receives his reward for it over a very short time? Does he appreciate that when his right hon. Friend spoke during the last Budget speech of room at the top, it was hoped that some small part of it might be reserved for inventors and patentees, on whom the future of industry in this country so much depends? Will he look into this question in the light of those facts?

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , Wolverhampton South West

Certainly, Sir, but as the tax is the same whether the patent is sold in this country or abroad, it can hardly have the effect that the results of British invention are sold overseas.