Building Society Holdings (Information)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th March 1965.

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Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Cheadle 12:00 am, 9th March 1965

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if building societies who are required to supply details of individual holdings in their societies to the Inland Revenue are made aware that the information, supplied for averaging purposes, can be and is used for the purpose of checking individual holdings, and can lead to prosecutions against members.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

I believe that building societies are aware of the use made of this information.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Cheadle

Is it not a fact that very few members of building societies or depositors are aware of it? If this information is to be obtained, ought it not to be obtained, not in this underhanded way, but under Section 29 of the 1952 Act?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

In fact, very much wider information could be obtained under Section 29. There is nothing underhand about the way this information is obtained. It is quite well known that returns have to be made in order to determine the composite rate. When the information is obtained, it has to be linked with the particular taxpayer's individual file for purposes of calculating the rate. If it is found that the taxpayer has not disclosed some of his income, it is the duty of the Revenue to investigate it.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Cheadle

Would it not be more equitable if this applied to all taxpayers who have money in building societies and not those who happen to be the victims of the particular sample?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

The object of the exercise is not to obtain information about non-disclosure, but if such information comes to light then it is the duty of the Revenue to investigate it.