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The following is a list of the principal errors and omissions that have been discovered since the sheets were printed off :
Page 28–2nd line from top, for “ He his not, &c.,” read “He is not.”
“increasing by £5 a year to £230." Page 38—7th paragraph from top, line 2, for “25 and under 20 years' allowance," read
“25 and under 30, &c." Page 39—Article (38) read commencement of paragraph as follows" Collectors and
Surveying General Examiners are allowed leave of absence, on their private affairs, for twenty-eight days, and Supervisors, Collectors' Clerks, and all
classes of Surveying Officers, for fourteen days, &c. Page 51–3rd paragraph from top, 2nd line, read “it is of course, &c.” Page 64—Line 7 from top for “nimes," read "nines." Page 289—Read the sentence continued from previous page, as follows—"The effect
produced by the fusel oil contained in the wash, must be taken into account,
although the quantity may not exceed one or two per cent., as &c." Page 301-Line 14 from top, for "ænanstic,” read “ænanthic."
CHANGES WHILE IN PRESS.
Page 33—The office of Seizure Warehouse-Keeper is now amalgamated with that of
Port Surveyor. Page 34—The office of Diary Supervisor has been discontinued, the duties being
performed by a Surveying General Examiner. Page 31-Establishment of Surveying General Examiners—in the 2nd Class there are
now, 1 at £400, and 14 at £350 salary; in the 3rd class, 15 at £300 salary,
Inland Rebenue Oficer's Manual.
Direct and Indirect Taration. — Origin of Taxes in general.- Historic Sketch of
the Ercise Revenue.- Present Organization of the Excise Surveying Department of Inland Revenue, fc.
1.-DIRECT AND INDIRECT TAXES: HOW DISTINGUISHED.--Taxes in general may be classified as direct or indirect. A direct tax is one which is demanded from the very person who, it is intended or desired, should pay it—such as the Income Tax. Indirect taxes are those which are demanded from one person, in the expectation and intention that he shall indemnify himself at the expense of another-such as the Excise or Customs. The producer or importer of a commodity is called on to pay a tax on it, not with the intention to levy a peculiar tax on him, but to tax through him the consumers of the commodity, from whom it is supposed that he will recover the amount by means of an advance in price.
Direct taxes fall either on income or expenditure. Most taxes on expenditure are indirect, but some are direct, being imposed, not on the producer or seller of any article, but immediately on the consumer. A house tax, for example, is a direct tax on expenditure, if levied, as it usually is, on the occupier of the house. If levied on the builder or owner, it would be an indirect tax. The taxes on horses and carriages, and the rest of what are called the Assessed Taxes, are forms of direct taxation. These might be classed among the « taxes on commodities," but are not, that phrase being by custom confined to indirect taxes—those which are advanced by one person, to be, as is expected and intended, reimbursed by another.
It is customary to consider the Stamp Duties as part of the system of indirect or rather partially indirect taxation, because they are disguised under the payment
"The substance of the first few pages of this chapter, is, with a few exceptions, taken from the works of various standard writers on political science-John B. Mill, J. R. McCulloch, M. Garnier, &c. This general acknowledgment will spare the necessity of indicating the passages quoted from each separate authority,
made for some useful commodity; and because the burthen is eventually transferred from those who pay the amount in the first instance, to those who purchase their commodities or services. By some writers, however, the Stamp duties are viewed as not coming properly within either of the two great divisions of our system of taxation, and are referred to the head of « Miscellaneous or Unclassed Taxes."
In these kingdoms, the greater part of the public revenue is raised by indirect taxation, that is, by imposts levied on the materials of commerce, the creations of industry, the luxuries and a few of the necessaries of life, and to a small extent, on the products of land.
2.-ADVANTAGES OF DIRECT TAXATION.-In favour of a greatly extended, if not a universal, system of direct taxation, it is urged, among other reasons, by financial reformers, that a direct graduated tax on income or property is the most equitable of any in principle, and the least oppressive in the mode of its operation : 1st, Because the person who is required to pay it contributes towards the expenses of government nearly in proportion to his ability, when the tax does not reach to an income barely sufficient to provide the necessaries of life, and this always should be exempted :* 2nd, Because he knows the exact amount of his contribution-how much of his income goes to state purposes—and is thus better enabled to detect and hold in check, wasteful expenditure of the public money. Direct taxes take surreptitiously from nobody. They who seem to pay them are the persons who really pay them : 3rd, Because a merchant, manufacturer, or tradesman, experiences no interruption or delay in his business, no vexatious interference with his manner of carrying on a process or bringing an article into consumption; he is at perfect liberty to try experiments, to adopt improvements, to employ the whole of his time and capital in raising the quality of his goods, and in lowering the cost of their production : 4th, Because a direct tax, when once fairly assessed, is easily and cheaply collected; few officials and a simple machinery suffice to levy and manage it: the exchequer, therefore, receives a sum very little short of the gross impost taken from the people, who have so much the less to pay to satisfy the fiscal demand.
3.—DIFFICULTIES OF ASSESSING AND COLLECTING TAXES ON INCOME.-In answer to these and other arguments which are adduced in support of the scheme of raising the whole of the revenue by direct taxation, it must be admitted, that an Income Tax is, at first sight, the fairest of all taxes. It seems to make every one contribute to the wants of the state, in proportion to the revenue which he enjoys under its protection; while, by falling equally on all, it occasions no change in the distribution of capital, or in the natural direction of industry, and has no influence over prices. It is greatly to be wished that a tax having these effects, could be imposed, but it is certain that no such tax has hitherto been devised. An Income Tax would, no doubt, have the supposed effects, were it possible to assess it with fairness. The practical difficulties, however, in the way of its imposition, are of a kind that apparently cannot be overcome by any exercise of administrative skill. So much is this the case, that taxes on income, though theoretically equal, prove in their operation, the most unequal, oppressive, and vexatious that it is possible to conceive.
* The practice which exists in this country of not taxing incomes of less than £100 a year, may be regarded as an undue partiality towards small incomes. But it should be tiken into account that such an exemption is perhaps more than compensated by the proportionally greater expenditure of the possessors of small incomes in the purchase of customable and exciseable articles.