This is a tax levied on all people whose income exceeds a stated sum, which varies in the case of a married man whose wife is living with him. The tax is made up under five heads :
Income from property in lands and buildings.
Income from the occupation of certain lands.
Income from interest and dividends arising out of public funds.
Incomes of profits from professions, trades and other callings.
Incomes of annuities, &c, arising out of employment.
The 1931-2 Finance Act introduces many alterations. The most important are that a single person in receipt of more than £100 a year unearned income, I.e. from investments, is liable for Income Tax ; likewise a married person in receipt of more than £150 a year unearned income from investments, is liable for tax. A single person earning more than £125 a year—earned income, I.e. wages—is liable and a married couple with no children are liable for tax if their joint earned income exceeds £190, and provided they have no life insurance policies.
There are special allowances for children, a housekeeper, dependent relatives and life insurance relief, etc., and if any doubt is experienced, application should be made to the local inspector of taxes—whose address can be obtained from the Post Office—who will gladly forward printed information which gives the standard rate and all reliefs to which everyone is entitled.
The Income Tax year commences on April 6th and terminates on the following April 6th ; it is the personal income received during this period, then, that must be stated on the annual assessment. Everybody is bound by law to fill in an assessment form when asked by a surveyor whether his income is sufficient to be taxable or not. Should a person be liable to Income Tax and not receive such form for the purpose of making a return for assessment, he must apply for same to the local inspector of taxes. People with taxable incomes receive a ‘Notice of Assessment’ in due course and, if they consider that the amount at which they have been assessed is too high, they may send an appeal to H.M. Inspector of Taxes within twenty-one days, and appear, subsequently, before the Commissioners. Later a demand note is received and it is then that the tax must be paid. It is paid in two instalments, in January and July. Note that the July payment is in discharge of the tax for the year which ended on the previous April 5th. If it can be proved that payments in excess of the proper amount have been paid, a refund can be claimed, dating as far as three years back. On the other hand, if the authorities can prove that too little tax has been paid, there is no limit to the number of back years they can claim.