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Title: The Clown's Mistress : income tax evasion : ideal and reality in mid-Victorian Britain relating to the detection of, and punishment for, evading the income tax
Author: Colley, Robert John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3560 4144
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Aberystwyth,
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 1998
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In the mid-nineteenth century, the assessment of the income tax was entrusted to personnel who were independent of the Board of Inland Revenue and this constitutional division between local and central authority was the corner-stone of the Victorian income tax. It was envisaged that the punishment for evasion, too, should be dealt with essentially at a local level and the statute provided for several different means by which this could be achieved. It soon became clear, however, that such a system was ill-equipped to deal adequately with under- or non-assessment, because the sanctions by which penalties could be imposed were ineffectual both as a deterrent and as a punitive measure in instances of substantial and protracted evasion. In the third quarter of the nineteenth century, events occurred through which the Board was able, effectively, to seize the reins of assessment and to forge a method of punishment for evasion and it is this extra-statutory scheme which formed the nucleus of the modern system of punishing income tax evasion. The dissertation begins in 1842, the year in which the income tax was re-introduced as a temporary visitant and ends in 1880, the year in which the management of the income tax was mapped out as, more or less, a permanent feature of the fiscal scene. During this period, the method of dealing with tax evasion metamorphosed from one which was, in the main, in the grasp of the local administration to-one which was largely in the hands of the Inland Revenue Department. That this change took place without legislative intervention was the culmination of the social and administrative stresses and tensions that were tested by the operation of the income tax, which it is the purpose of this dissertation to explore.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Finance ; Taxation