Income Tax Returns (Accountants' Fees)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1967.

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Photo of Sir Ronald Bell Sir Ronald Bell , Buckinghamshire South 12:00 am, 7th March 1967

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the fee of an accountant for preparing the Income Tax return of a taxpayer is not allowed as an expense against the income which is declared in the return.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

Because it is an expense which is unrelated to the earning of the income and is a personal outgoing for which the law does not give relief.

Photo of Sir Ronald Bell Sir Ronald Bell , Buckinghamshire South

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman realise that the Government have made the Income Tax laws so complicated that very few taxpayers are now able to make a return of Income Tax without the assistance of an accountant? That being so, is this not really an expense which is pertinent to the income being returned?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

No, Sir. I do not agree, and many taxpayers do make their own Income Tax returns.

Photo of Mr Patrick Jenkin Mr Patrick Jenkin , Wanstead and Woodford

Is it not a fact that taxpayers who are in business are allowed to set off the expenses which they incur in preparing their tax returns? Would not there be a saving of time and expense to the Exchequer if this concession were allowed to all taxpayers?

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

In the case of business and professional men, it is only because it would not be practicable to divide an inclusive accountant's fee into the part relating to the preparation of the accounts and the part that would not be deductible because it related to personal income that this exception is made.