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Part IIIExcess Profits Duty

38Charge of excess profits duty

(1)There shall be charged, levied, and paid on the amount by which the profits arising from any trade or business to which this Part of this Act applies, in any accounting period which ended after the fourth day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen, and before the first day of July nineteen hundred and fifteen, exceeded, by more than two hundred pounds, the pre-war standard of profits as defined for the purposes of this Part of this Act, a duty (in this Act referred to as "excess profits duty") of an amount equal to fifty per cent. of that excess.

(2)For the purposes of this Part of this Act the accounting period shall be taken to be the period for which the accounts of the trade or business have been made up, and where the accounts of any trade or business have not been made up for any definite period, or for the period for which they have been usually made up, or a year or more has elapsed without accounts being made up, shall be taken to be such period not being less than six months or more than a year ending on such a date as the Commissioners of Inland Revenue may determine. Where any accounting period is a period of less than a year this section shall have effect as if there were substituted for two hundred pounds a proportionately reduced amount.

(3)Where a person proves that in any accounting period, which ended after the fourth day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen, his profits have not reached the point which involves liability to excess profits duty, or that he has sustained a 1 3 in his trade or business, he shall be entitled to repayment of such amount paid by him as excess profits duty in respect of any previous accounting period, or to set off against a excess profits duty payable by him in respect of any succeeding accounting period, such an amount as will make the total amount of excess profits duty paid by him during the whole period accord with his profits or losses during that period.

39Trades and businesses to which excess profits duty applies

The trades and businesses to which this Part of this Act applies are all trades or businesses (whether continuously carried on or not) of any description carried on in the United Kingdom, or owned or carried on in any other place by persons ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, excepting—

(a)husbandry in the United Kingdom ; and

(b)offices or employments ; and

(c)any profession the profits of which are dependent mainly on the personal qualifications of the person by whom the profession is carried on and in which no capital expenditure is required, or only capital expenditure of a comparatively small amount,

but including the business of any person taking commissions in respect of any transactions or services rendered, and of any agent of any description (not being a commercial traveller, or an agent whose remuneration consists wholly of a fixed and definite sum not depending on the amount of business done or any other contingency).

40Determination of profits and pre-war standard

(1)The profits arising from any trade or business to which this Part of this Act applies shall be separately determined for the purpose of this Part of this Act, but shall be so determined on the same principles as the profits and gains of the trade or business are or would be determined for the purpose of income tax, subject to the modifications set out in the First Part of the Fourth Schedule to this Act and to any other provisions of this Act.

(2)The pre-war standard of profits for the purposes of this Part of this Act shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be taken to be the amount of the profits arising from the trade or business on the average of any two of the three last pre-war trade years, to be selected by the taxpayer (in this Part of this Act referred to as the profits standard): Provided that if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue that that amount was less than the percentage standard as herein-after defined, the pre-war standard of profits shall be taken to be the percentage standard. The percentage standard shall, for the purposes of this Part of this Act, be taken to be an amount equal to the statutory percentage on the capital of the trade or business as existing at the end of the last pre-war trade year, subject, however, to the provisions of this Act as to any alteration in the manner of calculating the percentage standard in special cases. The statutory percentage shall be six per cent. in the case of a trade or business carried on or owned by a company or other body corporate, and seven per cent. in the case of any other trade or business, subject, however, to the provisions of this Act as to the increase in that percentage in certain cases. The provisions contained in the Second Part of the Fourth Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the computation of the profits of a pre-war trade year, and the provisions contained in the Third Part of the Fourth Schedule shall have effect with respect to the ascertainment of capital for the purposes of this Part of this Act. "The last pre-war trade year" means the year ending at the end of the last accounting period before the fifth day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen, and " the three last pre-war trade years " means the three years ending at the three corresponding times.

(3)Where it appears to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, on the application of a taxpayer in any particular case, that any provisions of the Fourth Schedule to this Act should be modified in his case, owing to a change in the constitution of a partnership, or to the postponement or suspension, as a consequence of the present war, of renewals or repairs, or to exceptional depreciation or obsolescence of assets employed in the trade or business due to the present war, or to the necessity in connection with the present war of providing plant which will not be wanted for the purposes of the trade, or business after the termination of the war, or to any other special circumstances specified in regulations made by the Treasury, those Commissioners shall have power to allow such modifications of any of the provisions of that schedule as they think necessary in order to meet the particular case. If the Commissioners refuse, on any such application, to allow any modification, or if the applicant is dissatisfied with any modification allowed, the applicant may require the Commissioners to refer the case to a Board of Referees, to be appointed for the purposes of this Part of this Act by the Treasury, and that Board shall consider any case so referred and have the same powers with respect thereto as the Commissioners have.

41Adjustments for increased or decreased capital

(1)Where capital has been increased during the accounting period, a deduction shall be made from the profits of the accounting period at the statutory percentage per annum on the amount by which the capital has been increased, for the whole accounting period if the increased capital has been employed for the whole accounting period, and if the increased capital has been employed for part only of the accounting period, for that part of the accounting period.

(2)Where capital has been decreased during the accounting period, an addition shall be made to the profits of the accounting period at the statutory percentage per annum on the amount by which the capital has been so decreased, for the whole accounting period, if the capital has been decreased for the whole accounting period, and if the capital has been decreased for part only of the accounting period, for that part of the accounting period.

(3)For the purposes of this section capital shall be taken to be increased or decreased, as the case may be, where the pre-war standard of profits is a profits standard, if the capital employed in the trade or business exceeds or is less than the average amount of" capital employed during the pre-war trade years or year by reference to which the profits standard has been arrived at, and, where the pre-war standard of profits is a percentage standard, if the capital exceeds or is less than the capital on which the percentage standard has been calculated.

(4)Where any capital employed in a trade or business which was so employed for the first time within three years before the first day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen has only commenced to be remunerative or fully remunerative in the accounting period, an amount equal to the statutory percentage, or where interest has been earned on the capital, but at a rate less than the statutory percentage, an amount which would bring the interest earned on the capital up to the statutory percentage, as the case may be, shall be added to the profits standard.

42Reference to the Board of Referees of questions as to increase of percentages, &c

Where an application is made to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue—

(1)For an increase of the statutory percentage as respects any class of trade or business, or for a calculation of the percentage standard in the case of any class of trade or business in which the amount of capital actually employed in the trade or business is, owing to the nature of the trade or business, small compared with the capital necessarily at stake for that trade or business, by reference to some factor other than the capital of the trade or business or to some additional factor ; or

(2)For an alteration of the pre-war standard of profits as respects capital employed for the purpose of the manufacture of war materials or for munitions work and which could not be expected to be remunerative or wholly remunerative, except in time of war, in a business which has been wholly or mainly carried on for those purposes;

the Commissioners, unless they are of opinion that the application is frivolous or vexatious or relates to matters already decided by a Board of Referees, shall refer the case to a Board of Referees to be appointed for the purpose of this Part of this Act by the Treasury, and that Board shall deal with the case, and may, by order, if they think fit, increase the statutory percentage or alter the percentage standard for the class of trade or business the subject of the order; or alter the pre-war standard of profits, as the case requires. On any such order being made, this Part of this Act shall have effect as from the date named in the order as if the percentage or standard named in the order was substituted for the percentage or standard fixed by this Act ; and where, in pursuance of any such order, the statutory percentage is increased or the percentage standard is altered as respects any class of trade or business, the statutory percentage 'shall be increased and the percentage standard shall be altered respectively for all purposes of this Part of this Act as respects any trade or business belonging to that class. This section shall apply to any subdivision of a trade or business based either on any special feature of the trade or business or on locality as it applies to a class of trade or business, in any case where the Board of Referees are of opinion that the subdivision can properly be dealt with separately.

43Excess mineral rights duty

(1)Where the amount payable to any person as rent in respect of the right to work minerals or of any mineral wayleaves (in cases where the right to work the minerals and the mineral wayleaves are not part of the assets of any trade or business) varies according to the price of the minerals, and the amount so payable in respect of any working year ending on any date after the commencement of the present war (in this section referred to as the accounting year) exceeds the pre-war standard of that rent, there shall be paid as an addition to any mineral rights duty payable or paid, either directly or by deduction, by reference to the amount of the rent paid in that working year, by that person (in this section referred to as the person liable) an amount equal to fifty per cent. of that excess.

(2)The pre-war standard of rent shall, for the purposes of this section, be taken to be the average of any two of the three last pre-war rent values, to be selected by the taxpayer, and in cases where the minerals have not been worked or the wayleaves have not been let throughout the three years by reference to which the three last pre-war rent values are to be calculated, or for any other reason there are no proper data for ascertaining the pre-war rent values, shall be taken to be such amount as may be fixed by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, having regard to the data afforded by the working and price of minerals in like circumstances, subject nevertheless to the same appeal as that to which the assessment of duty by the Commissioners is subject under Part I. of the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910. The pre-war rent value shall, as respects each of the three years immediately preceding the first accounting year, be taken to be the sum to which the rent for "the accounting year would amount if the rent, so far as variable according to price; were based on the average prices governing the payment of the rent in that year.

(3)Any amount payable in any accounting year by the lessee of minerals or wayleaves to a superior lessor as rent in respect of the minerals or wayleaves shall be treated as a deduction from the amount payable to the lessee as rent for that year, and in computing the pre-war rent values a corresponding deduction shall be made on account of any such rent.

(4)Any increment value duty payable annually under section twenty-two of the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910, shall, when paid, be treated as a deduction from the rent payable to any person in the year in which the duty is paid, and a corresponding deduction shall be made in computing the pre-war standard with which the rent for that year is to be compared.

(5)Any duty payable under this section shall be assessed by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue on the person liable, subject to the same appeal as that to which an assessment of duty by the Commissioners under Part I. of the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910, is subject, and shall be recoverable as a debt due to His Majesty from that person.

(6)Subsection (3) of section twenty of the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910, shall extend so as to authorise particulars to be required of any lease of minerals or wayleaves and as to the sums paid or payable thereunder, and of such other particulars as to the minerals or wayleaves as the Commissioners may require for the purpose of this section.

(7)Expressions to which a special meaning is attached by Part I of the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910, shall have the same meaning in this section.

44Returns for purpose of Part III, and penalty for fictitious transactions

(1)The Commissioners of Inland Revenue may, for the purposes of this Part of this Act, require any person engaged in any trade or business to which this Part of this Act applies or who was so engaged during any accounting period or pre-war trade year, to furnish them within two months after the requirement for the return is made, with returns of the profits of the trade or business during the accounting period or pre-war trade years and such other particulars in connection with the trade or business as the Commissioners may require.

(2)It shall be the duty of every person chargeable to excess profits duty under this Part of this Act to give notice that he is chargeable to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue before the thirty-first day of January nineteen hundred and sixteen, and it shall ,be the duty of the liquidator of every company which is being wound up at the time of the commencement of this Act or is wound up after the commencement of this Act, and is chargeable to excess profits duty, to give notice of the fact to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. If any person fails to furnish a proper return in accordance with this section or to comply with any requirement of the Commissioners under this section, or to give any notice required by this section, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds and to a further fine not exceeding ten pounds a day for every day during which the offence continues after conviction therefor.

(3)A person shall not,- for the purpose of avoiding the payment of excess profits duty, enter into any fictitious or artificial transaction or carry out any fictitious or artificial operation, and, if he has entered into any such transaction or carried out any such operation before the commencement of this Act, shall inform the Commissioners of Inland Revenue of the nature of the transaction or operation. If any person acts in contravention of, or fails to comply with, this provision, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

45Supplemental provisions as to excess profits duty

(1)The excess profits duty shall be assessed by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, and shall be payable at any time, not being less than two months, after it is assessed. The Commissioners may, in any case where they think fit, allow the duty to be paid in instalments of such amount payable at such .times as the Commissioners direct.

(2)The duty may be assessed on any person for the time being owning or carrying on the trade or business or acting as agent for that person in carrying on the trade or business, or, where a trade or business has ceased, on the person who owned or carried on the trade or business or acted as agent in carrying on the trade or business immediately before the time at which the trade or business ceased, and where there has been a change of ownership of the trade or business, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue may, if they think fit, take the accounting period as the period ending on the date on which the ownership has so changed and assess the duty on the person who owned or carried on the trade or business or acted as agent for the person carrying on the trade or business at that date.

(3)The amount of duty payable shall be recoverable as a debt due to His Majesty from the person on whom it is assessed. Any such amount shall if it is less than fifty pounds be recoverable also summarily as a civil debt.

(4)Where a company is wound up after the commencement of this Act, and before the first day of July, nineteen hundred and sixteen, and the company would be chargeable with excess profits duty if the provisions of this Act were continued and. extended to accounting periods ending before the first day of July, nineteen hundred and sixteen, it shall be the duty of the liquidator of the company to give notice to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, and to set aside such sum out of the assets of the company as appears to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to be sufficient to provide for any such excess profits duty as may become chargeable.

(5)Any person who is dissatisfied with the amount of any assessment made upon him by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue under this Part of this Act may (except in cases where a special right of appeal is given under this Part of this Act) appeal to the general Commissioners for the division in which he is assessed, or to the special Commissioners, and those Commissioners shall have power on any appeal, if they think fit, to summon witnesses and examine them upon oath. The power under sections twenty-one and twenty-two of the Income Tax Act, 1853, to require an appeal in Ireland to the special Commissioners to be reheard by the county court judge, or chairman of quarter sessions, or recorder, shall apply to an appeal in Ireland under this provision. Section fifty-nine of the Taxes Management Act, 1880 (which relates to the statement of a case on a point of law), shall apply with the necessary modifications in the case of any appeal to the general or special Commissioners under this section or of the rehearing of any such appeal in Ireland, and in the case of a reference to the Board of Referees under this Part of this Act, as it applies in the case of appeals to the general or special Commissioners under the Income Tax Acts.

(6)The duty assessed by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue shall be payable notwithstanding any appeal under this section except in cases where the Commissioners of Inland Revenue direct to the contrary, but the Commissioners shaft make such repayments, if any, as are necessary to give effect to any decision on appeal as soon as possible after such decision has been given.

(7)The Commissioners of Inland Revenue may make regulations with respect to the assessment and collection of the excess profits duty and the hearing of appeals under this section, and may by those regulations apply and adapt any enactments relating to the assessment and collection of income tax, or the hearing of appeals as to income tax by the general or special Commissioners, which do not otherwise apply.

(8)All Commissioners and other persons employed for any purpose in connection with the assessment or collection of excess profits duty shall be subject to the same obligations as to secrecy with respect to excess profits duty as those persons are subject to with respect to income tax, and any oath taken by any such person as to secrecy with respect to income tax shall be deemed to extend also to secrecy with respect to excess profits duty.