SIR WILLIAM HOULDSWORTIH (Manchester, N.W.)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he is aware that the Commissioners of Income Tax have recently adopted a new principle of collection, by which a great number of charities throughout the country hitherto exempt have been rendered liable; and, if it is intended that this principle shall be applied generally.
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
Owing to a recent decision in the Courts of Law as to the interpretation to be placed on the expression "charitable purposes" in the Income Tax Acts, certain institutions hitherto exempt can now no longer be so regarded. We have no alternative but to continue to administer the law in this respect in accordance with the decision of the Judges, so long as such decision remains unaltered.
§ SIR W. HOULDSWORTH
This is a very serious matter. May I ask my right hon. Friend if he will undertake that no steps will be taken to enforce payment until a decision has been given in the House of Lords?
§ *MR. GOSCHEN
I have no power to relieve any charity from a fixed payment imposed on it by law. There are, however, not many charities affected, although my hon. Friend has spoken as if there were a large number. I will make further inquiry in the matter?