« EelmineJätka »
[by the authority of the Protector and his parliament, on nearly the same model as has been ever since adopted, and with the same rates of postage as continued till the reign of Queen Anne (c).] But the rates have been, of course, since altered, and many further regulations added, by many subsequent statutes (d); and, by the Post Office Act, 1875, s. 6, the duties authorised by the Post Office Acts are declared to be stamp duties, and are placed under the management of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
[Probably, no more eligible method of raising money upon the subject can be devised than this Post Office tax; and the system has been, in recent years, very largely and diversely extended. Thus, in the year 1840, by the Post Office (Duties) Act, of that year, the privilege formerly exercised by all members of parliament, of franking (or sending and receiving letters free of duty) was wholly abolished. Since that year the postage has been gradually reduced to an uniform rate, irrespective of distance, which amounts at present, to the sum of only one penny for every letter conveyed between places in the United Kingdom, provided it does not exceed four ounces in weight; the rate to India and some colonies is one penny the halfounce, and foreign letters and letters to some colonies are carried at the rate of twopence halfpenny for every half ounce. In further development of the system, books, newspapers, and other postal packets are now also carried, at low rates of postage in proportion to the weight con
(c) See the Act in Scobell, 511.
(d) Post Office (Management) Acts, 1837 to 1884 ; Post Office (Offences) Act, 1837; Railways (Conveyance of Mails) Act, 1838; Post Office Duties Acts, 1840 to 1891 ; Post Office (Money Orders) Acts, 1848 to 1883 ; Post Office
Acis, 1837 to 1897 ; Post Office (Sites) Act, 1885 ; and Conveyance of Mails Act, 1893 (Mails on Tramways). As to the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, see Post Office Act, 1892.
(veyed ; and since the year 1875, post cards (i.e., open letters) have come into use, bearing a halfpenny stamp only (e). The produce arising from this branch of the revenue is steadily increasing.
The machinery of the Post Office is also now used for the management of that class of savings bank which is called the Post Office Savings Bank, for the issuing of money orders and of postal orders (1), for the granting of small life insurances and life annuities (g), and for the conveyance of small parcels by parcel post (h). For a considerable number of years, the Post Office has also had the direction of the electric telegraphs of the kingdor (i). Special postal and telegraph facilities for outlying places are also now provided (k), and specific provisions have been made for the punishment of offences relating to the Post Office in its various departments and branches (1).
V. A fifth branch of the revenuc (also under the management of the commissioners of inland revenue) consists in the Stamp Duty, which is a tax imposed upon a great variety of legal and other documents (m), and, in fact, on almost all instruments between man and man
(e) Post Office Act, 1875, s. 1; minimum rate for inland teleand (as to reply postcards) see grams was reduced to sixpence. the Post Office (Reply Post Cards) (k) Post Office Act, 1891, s. 8; Act, 1882.
Post Office Amendment Act, 1895 ; (f) Post Office (Money Orders) Post Office and Telegraph Act, Acts, 1848 to 1883.
1897; and the Post Office (Guaran(g) Government Annuities Act, tee) Acts, 1898. 1882.
(1) Post Office (Protection) Act, (h) Post Office (Parcels) Act, 1882. 1884.
(i) The Telegraph Acts, 1863 (m) See the Common Law Courts to 1899, include Acts of the (Fees) Act, 1865; as to court following years, viz. : — 1863, fees, the Judicature Act, 1875, 1866, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1878, 1885, S. 26; as to fines and fees to 1889, 1892, 1897, and 1899. It local authorities, the Local Stamp was by the Act of 1885 that the Act, 1869; and as to fees to public
[which are written on parchment or paper; and also upon cards and dice (n). The first institution of the stamp duties was by the 5 & 6 W. & M. (1694), c. 21 ; but they have long since been increased vastly beyond the original design (0).] There are also now three specific duties on property, commonly called the Death Duties, classed under this branch of the revenue, which are of such importance as to deserve a particular mention, viz., the duty payable under the Legacy Duty Acts (p); the duty payable under the Succession Duty Act, 1853 (9); and the temporary Estate Duty payable under the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1889 (r), or (in the case of deaths after the 1st August, 1894) under the Finance Act, 1894, as amended by the Finance Acts, 1896, 1898, and 1900.
officers generally, the Public Offices Fees Act, 1879.
(n) Revenue Act, 1862, ss. 27— 37.
(o) The principal Stamp Acts are the Stamp Acts, 1815 and 1891, which latter consolidates the law and repeals the Stamp Act, 1870, and many other Acts relating to stamp duties, and has been amended by the Revenue Act, 1898, the Stamp Duties Management Act, 1891, the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1893, ss. 3, 4, and the Finance Act, 1894, ss. 39, 40, and the Finance Acts of 1895 to 1902. See also the following statutes containing enactments on this subject : Demise of the Crown Act, 1830; London Hackney Carriage Act, 1831 ; Stage Carriages Act, 1832; Oxford Uni. versity Act, 1855 ; Cambridge University Act, 1858 ; Revenue, Act, 1867, ss. 20—24 ; Revenue, Friendly Societies, and National
Debt Act, 1882, Part II. ; and
(p) See the Legacy Duty Acts, 1796 and 1805 ; Stamp Act, 1815, sched; Revenue Act, 1845, S. 4.
(q) Amended by the Customs and Inland Revenue Acts, 1888, s. 21, and 1889, ss. 10–15 See Att.-Gen. v. Hallett (1857), 2 H. & N. 368 ; Att.-Gen. v. Baker (1859), 4 H. & N. 19; Att.-Gen. v. Upton (1866), L. R. 1 Exch. 224 ; Att.-Gen. v. Mitchell (1881), 6 Q. B. D. 548; and Re Warner (1881), 17 Ch. D. 711.
(r) Sects. 5—9. By the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1885, Part II., the property of bodies corporate and unincorporate, theretofore exempt, have been subjected to succession duty at the rate of 51. per cent. upon their net profits or income; but there are still some exceptions to this liability,
The nature of the two latter duties has, however, previously been explained (s).
Legacy Duty.—This duty is chargeable in respect of personal estate on all legacies and shares of residue, except that husbands and wives are exempt from the duty in respect of suis coming from each other. The duty payable by a child of the deceased, or by the descendant of such child, or by the father or mother or any lineal ancestor of the deceased, used to be 1l. per cent. But when the probate and account duty payable on obtaining probate or letters of administration under the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1881, s. 27, had been paid, this duty of ll. was not also payable (sect. 41); and now where the Finance Act, 1894, is applicable, if the estate duty appointed by that Act has been paid, the duty of 11. per cent. is not to be paid (sect. 1). The duty payable by a brother or sister of the deceased is 31. per cent. ; by a brother or sister of the father or mother of the deceased, or by their descendants, 51. per cent. ; by a brother or sister of the grandfather or grandmother of the deceased, or by their descendants, 61. per cent. ; and by any more distant relation or by a stranger, 101. per cent. All these last-mentioned duties still remain payable, in addition to the estate duty just mentioned.
VI. The last branch of the revenue to be here noticed, is the duty which is charged upon Offices of Profit and Pensions payable by the Crown, exceeding the value of 1001. per annum, a duty which was first imposed in the reign of George the Second (t); and, after having been from time to time continued, was made perpetual by the Duties on Offices and Pensions Act, 1836 (u).
e.g., the Crown, charities, and the like. (See the Case of the Incorporated Council of Lau Reporting (1889), 22 Q. B. D. 279.)
(s) See ante, bk. ii., pt. i., ch. xxvi.
() Pension Duties Act, 1757.
(u) See Customs and Inland Revenue Amendment Act, 1877.
VII. The taxes of which notice has now been taken are those which are permanently fixed upon the subjects of this realm ; but in the year 1842, the revenue being insufficient to meet the public expenditure, it was thought proper to revive, with some modifications, a tax of which there are traces in the first half of the fifteenth century, but which after that time fell into disuse till again resorted to by Pitt in 1799. This—the Income Tax-was, however, dropped in 1802, revived in 1803, and again abolished in 1816. Finally, by the Income Tax Act, 1842, this tax was re-imposed on the yearly profits arising from property, professions, trades, and offices; and by frequent renewals up to the present time, its existence has been prolonged, though the rate in the pound has been the subject of variation in the successive Acts, now become annual, by which the tax itself has been continued («). The basis on which, and mode in which, it is to be assessed, both generally and in particular cases, are defined in the Acts (y).
All of the above taxes were levied to discharge the
(x) The two chief Income Tax Trade Union (Provident Funds) Acts are those of 1842 and 1853, Act, 1893 ; Customs and Inland which contain the general rules Revenue Act, 1893, s. 7; Finance for levying and assessing the tax. Acts, 1894, Part IV. ; 1896, See for the chief amending Acts, Part V. ; 1897, s. 5; 1898, ss. 8both as to incidence, exemptions, 10; and 1902, s. 10; and the submanagement, and rates, Income sequent annual Finance Acts. As Tax (Insurance) Acts, 1853 and to the remuneration paid to the 1855; Income Tax Act, 1854 ; Collectors of Income Tax, see Income Tax Acts, 1859 and 1860; Income Tax (Public Offices) Act, Revenue (No. 2) Act, 1861, ss. 36, 1872 ; Taxes (Regulation of Re37, 38, 45, 46; Revenue (No. 1) muneration) Acts, 1891 and 1892 ; Act, 1864, s. 15; Revenue Acts, Dowell, Income Tax Larcs, 1902. 1866 and 1868 ; Customs and (y) Coltness Iron Company v. Inland Revenue Acts, 1876, s. 8, Black (1881), 6 App. Ca. 315 ; and 1878, Part II. ; Taxes Manage- Mersey Docks v. Lucas (1883), ment Act, 1880; Customs and 8 App. Ca. 891; Last v. LonInland Revenue Acts, 1885, don Assurance Corporation (1885), Part III. ; 1887, Part III. ; and 10 App. Ca. 438 ; Commissioners 1888, Part V. ; Revenue Act, 1889, of Income Tax v. Pemsel,  Part II. ; Customs and Inland A. C. 531. Revenue Act, 1890, Part IV. ;