I beg to move, in page 13. line 32, at the end to insert:
Provided that tax charged under any assessment shall not be collected to the extent that the person assessed can show to the satisfaction of the surveyor that it will exceed tax on the rents or receipts to which the person has or will become entitled in the year of assessment.
I apologise for bringing the Committee back to the arid wastes of Schedule A. This is a simple Amendment. The Economic Secretary referred to it earlier. All that the Amendment seeks to do is to give the taxpayer the right to make a payment on account where his income under Case VIII has decreased during the year. It is on an actual basis and the income will be based on the previous year's assessment adjusted on the preceding 5th April, but there should be a right in the Bill for the taxpayer to obtain a reduction where the amount of property from which he is deriving an income has altered in any way.
Assessments under Case VIII are to be made on a current year basis, but in order to prevent delay in the payment of tax, this subsection, which my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. W. Clark) wishes to amend, provides that the Case VIII assessment for the year is to be made in the first instance on the basis that sources of income and amounts of proceeds are the same as in the preceding year and the tax has to be paid accordingly on 1st January; but any necessary adjustments will be made after the end of the year when the figures are known.
That is a point in what my hon. Friend said. It could cause hardship if a landlord who disposed of some properties in the course of the year or preceding year nevertheless had to pay tax on an assessment based on the preceding year's income without allowance for this fact. But, for a reason which I will explain, I hope that my hon. Friend will on reflection agree that as drafted this Amendment goes too far. It would create a great deal of extra work and would cause delay in collecting the tax under Case VIII if tax due under what I might call a provisional estimate had to be held over just because of small estimated changes in expenditure.
On the other hand, this major difficulty would be met by a proviso excluding from the provisional estimate any receipts and outgoings in respect of premises which were disposed of before or during the year and not replaced by other premises.
My hon. Friend will, I think, appreciate that, for these reasons, I cannot advise the Committee to accept the Amendment in its present form, but I give an undertaking that on Report we will introduce an Amendment to go as far as we can and to deal with the more serious cases which have been brought to light as a result of the Amendment.