The Crown and the Income Tax Payer In an Income
Tax appeal before the House of Lords on Tuesday Lord Dunedin delivered a very strong and welcome judgment. The appeal was by the Crown against a decision which would have saved the Burma Corporation from a demonstrably unfair demand. Lord Dunedin said it was necessary to point out that " the Crown might be wrong," and he added that he had seldom had a more useless appeal before him. For private per- sons an unjust demand for Income Tax is an even more serious matter than it is for a trade corporation. Yet it has become almost a habit with the Income Tax authorities to fight every case " up to the House of Lords." Surely they might be content with the judgment of a competent lower Court except, in cases where, a cardinal principle is at stake. As it is the ordinary person shrinks from the hazards and expense of litigation which he knows will be pressed by the Crown to the bitter end. Bureaucrats, who are now the " Crown," have produced a new version of the dead theory that "the King can do no wrong." It was time that this was stopped, and we trust that Lord Dunedin has stopped it.
• * *