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"tion should be made for land tax, but the quit rent should be deducted." Thus placing the land tax as a copyholder's obligation. I believe land tax was first imposed in the early part of the seventeenth century, but was introduced in its present form in the reign of William III., when a new assessment was made throughout the kingdom. R. C. DRIVER, Past-President.
The receiver of the quit rent is bound to allow the payer of the same land tax at the same rate in the £ as is charged on the value of the land out of which the quit rent is payable; but where the quit rent is payable to the Crown, or to any person deriving title from the Crown by the purchase under the Acts 22 & 23 Charles II., caps. 6 & 24, the receiver must allow the payer 4s. in the £ on such rents.
It will depend, therefore, on the origin of the quit rent, whether the 4s. in the £ is a proper deduction, or whether it should be only at the same rate as the tax on the land the quit rent issues from.
The 5th, 30th, & 31st sections of 38 Geo. III., cap. 5, settle the law on the subject. W. ERNEST EVANS, Fellow.
Quit rents are chargeable to land-tax. If the lord of the manor is not assessed for them direct, it is to be presumed that the copyholders, by paying the tax on the full annual value of the lands, pay the tax on the quit rents issuing out of the lands, and they can, therefore, deduct the poundage for the same when paying the quit rent. If the land-tax
is properly assessed (which is not always the case), all properties not exonerated will be brought into assessment on an equal pound rate, the gross poor rate value being generally adopted. The amount in the £ may be as low as a farthing, or as high as the maximum of four shillings, and it may vary from year to year as properties vary in value. The poundage paid should, of course, be that deducted.
A. DUDLEY CLARKE, Fellow.
The copyholders are not entitled to deduct the tax at 4s. in the £ from quit rents unless the manor be derived in title from the Crown, in which case they might be. But I think they are entitled to deduct from quit rents being not less than twenty shillings yearly a proportionate part of any land tax paid by them in respect of property out of which the quit rent is payable. Thus, an owner of property assessed at £20, and charged with a land tax of 20s. and a quit rent of 20s., would be enabled to deduct 1s. from the quit rent. If the tax is properly assessed there would, of course, be the equivalent of the "equal pound rate" required by the Land Tax Acts. This, however, presupposes that the assessors have not assessed the manor, as they ought to do under their Instructions. Their duty is to assess all "manors"
"and all fee farm rents, and all other rents . . . . issuing out of any lands." As fines are not liable to assessment, the profits of most manors consist only of quit or other similar rents, and these ought to be assessed direct. The copyholders would then have no right to deduct the tax at any pound rate.
J. HENRY SABIN, Professional Associate.
It will be serviceable to premise some particulars of the unanimous decision of the Court of Common Pleas, about the year 1781, in the oft-quoted copyhold case Grant v. Astle, and in which the Court laid down that land tax was not to be allowed in reduction of a copyhold fine.
The tax was virtually a property tax; and the grounds of the decision (over and above the circumstances of the claim to such a deduction being novel) were stated by Lord LOUGHBOROUGH as follows:
In the first place, the land tax is annual, and, however probable its "continuance may be, there can be no legal presumption as to the "future intentions of the legislature, and there can be no deduction by anticipation of an uncertain future burthen. In the second place, "the tax, though commonly called a tax upon land, is not, in its "nature, a charge upou the land. It is a tax upon the faculties of men, estimated, first, according to their personal estate; secondly, by the offices they hold; and, lastly, by the land in their occupation. "The land is but the measure by which the faculties of the person "taxed are estimated, and where it is intended by the legislature that "the burthen should not ultimately rest upon the person charged, a power of deducting is given him by the Act; as in the case of rents, "and other certain outgoings. But no deduction is allowed for fines "which are uncertain."-(Scriven on Copyholds, &c., 3rd Edition, Vol. 1, p. 396.)
Hence, a copyholder paying the tax in respect of the annual value of his tenement, is entitled to recover from the lord of the manor in respect of the quit rent which he pays to the lord; though the claim may be not worth the trouble involved. Upon this and other points a reference may advantageously be made to Mr. Evans's very interesting Paper on Land Tax in Vol. 15 of the "Transactions."
E. SMYTH, Professional Associate.
Reply to Query CLXX. (Vol. VI.,
TITHE ACT, 1891.
Sub-section 4 of Sec. 8 has apparently been overlooked.
This provides that where the value has not been ascertained and entered in the assessment for the purpose of Schedule B the Income Tax Commissioners shall, on application, ascertain such value for the purpose of Schedule B (and, of course, for the purposes of the Act).
The provision that occupiers of land may elect to be assessed under Schedule D instead of B does not, in my opinion, affect this question. The assessment may still be under Schedule B, but the income tax thereon may be discharged; otherwise, where the occupiers are not liable to income tax at all the titheowner would lose his tithe.
F. PUNCHARD, Fellow.
(1) Tithe is a payment issuing out of the land. Neither the owner or occupier are personally liable for any tithe rent-charge, the land alone being liable. The owner, if aggrieved, must apply to the County Court. If the claim can be shewn to exceed two-thirds of the annual value as assessed to income tax, then the authorities have power to remit the whole of the amount so claimed in excess.
(2) This is a common occurrence. If correct accounts are produced to the satisfaction of the Commissioners showing that no profits have been made, then the occupation is not assessable to income tax under Schedule B.
(3) No; the onus of proving the land to be barren rests on the owner. Land of fair natural quality is not considered barren even although the costs of breaking up from a waste state and bringing into cultivation exceeds the value of the returns.
(4) A person who is engaged in farming only, and who, owing to unfavourable circumstances, fails to realise a profit and hence becomes exempt under Schedule B, is not liable to be assessed under Schedule D except he is engaged in some other trade or profession; in neither case would this lighten the burden of tithe.
GILBERT MURRAY, Fellow.
The County Court has to be satisfied that the tithe rent-charge for the year exceeds two-thirds of the annual value of the lands according to Schedule B, and if the annual value of the land is not entered in Schedule B, the Income Tax Commissioners will, on the application of the owner or occupier of the lands, ascertain and certify such annual value.
It appears to me that remission does not depend on whether the lands are let to a tenant or farmed by the owner, and a loss sustained, nor on whether the tax itself has or has not been paid, but upon the annual value as set forth in Schedule B only.
It should be borne in mind that the section does not apply to any lands other than those used solely for agricultural or pastoral purposes, or for the growth of timber or underwood.
HARLEY M. GRELLIER, Fellow.
Reply to Query CLXXI. (Vol. VI., p. 238).
A lessor cannot, after the expiration of a lease, recover from the lessee the costs of preparing and serving a schedule of dilapidations.
He may, however, proceed by bringing an action, when the costs will be in the discretion of the Court.
Section 2 of the Conveyancing Act of 1892 does not apply.
The Conveyancing Act of 1881, whilst compelling a lessor to serve a schedule of dilapidations before enforcing a right of re-entry, did not provide for the costs, and when it was decided by the Court of Appeal in the case of The Skinners' Company v. Knight and Others,* that the costs were not recoverable under the Act of 1881, steps were taken by the legal profession to remedy what was regarded as a hardship on owners, and the Act of 1892 was the result.
J. H. SHERWIN, Fellow.
Reply to Query CLXXII. (Vol. VI., p. 238).
THE METROPOLIS MANAGEMENT ACT-COMBINED DRAINAGE-COSTS OF REPAIR. (A.)
The enquirer emphasises the fact of no "order" for the combined drainage, as required by Sec. 250 (not 150) of the Metropolis Management Act having been produced by the Vestry, and suggests that the drain might have been constructed prior to 1856; in that case an order was probably made by the Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers, and Sec. 112 of 25 & 26 Vic., c. 102, extends the definition of "drain" in the former section to all combined drainage sanctioned by them.
It seems to me that, on discovering the combination of the drainage of A's house with that of the adjoining owner, A should have informed the Vestry of the fact, leaving them to serve any further notices upon those concerned, and have also abstained from the execution of any work on that part of the drainage system which was used by the adjoining owner. As the whole of the reconstruction was apparently performed without demur, I cannot see that the vestry are in any way liable. A should, in any case, be at the cost of all work executed on his portion of the drain above the junction with that of the adjoining house. I, therefore, reply to the questions asked as follows:—
1. (a) & (b). No; the only chance of recoupment is by amicable arrangement with the adjoining owner for the apportionment of the expense incurred in reconstructing that section of the drainage through which the flow from the next house takes place.
2. I know of none.
3. I should say the custom is to deny their liability.
4. I think not.
CHARLES H. LowE, Fellow.
*See" Professional Notes," vol. v., p. 151.
Unless it can be shewn that the two houses were drained in one combined operation by order of the vestry, the presumption is that the owner of the adjoining house has a right of drainage through the premises of A. It may be that when the drain was made there was unity of possession of both houses, and that A's house was subsequently sold off subject to the easement of drainage; or, the easement may have been gained by prescriptive user. If the drain were made previous to 1855, as the questioner suggests, that would be before the passing of the Metropolis Local Management Act, and it could not have been done as a combined operation by order of the vestry under that Act. 1. A is not entitled to recover from the vestry
(a) Except in the event of the drainage, on inspection, being found to be not defective, in which case the whole cost (of inspection) is recoverable.
(b) Nor does the fact that a portion of the drain is a combined drain make any difference.
2. I know of no case which governs this.
3. I know of no case in which a vestry has repaid one of the
These replies must be taken subject to this:-That if it can be proved that the houses were drained by a combined operation by order of the vestry, or by the vestry itself in default of compliance with such order, it appears to me that if the vestry now proceed under Section 85, as quoted, to do the work of repair itself, it should equitably apportion the cost on both the owners who would benefit by the work, and who, on this hypothesis, were originally forced by the vestry into an unwilling partnership in the drain. There has, however, been no case in the courts, so far as I know, where this been tested.
There is a strong case deciding that a combined drain is not a sewer repairable by the vestry. I have not its index reference, but it is, I think, about five years old, and the Poplar District Board of Works were the successful defendants. It is referred to in a letter from a surveyor in the Builder or Building News, Friday, 1st December, 1893. ARTHUR HARSTON, Fellow.
Reply to Query CLXXIII. (Vol. VI., p. 239).
Questioner does not definitely indicate the course of the way which is the subject of his enquiry. It is admitted that B has occasionally used the doors at D for ingress and egress since 1859, presumably at