Skip to main content

Is it true that Income Tax is temporary?

Strictly speaking it is true. Income tax is temporary.

It was introduced to fund the wars against France in 1799 as a temporary levy. Abolished in 1816, it came back, again temporarily in 1842 and has been with us every year but is still officially temporary. Accordingly, Parliament has to resolve in the Budget debates to keep it going but if that resolution is not confirmed by a Finance Act by 5 August, income tax lapses.

This is why there is was a flurry to pass legislation to continue income tax before Parliament dissolved in April 2010, just in case the new Parliament forgot!