Finance Act 1973

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1973 c. 51

Finance Act 1973

1973 CHAPTER 51

An Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.

[25th July 1973]

Most Gracious Sovereign,

We , Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom in Parliament assembled, towards raising the necessary supplies to defray Your Majesty's public expenses, and making an addition to the public revenue, have freely and voluntarily resolved to give and grant unto Your Majesty the several duties hereinafter mentioned; and do therefore most humbly beseech Your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Customs and Excise

Part I

Customs and Excise

S-1 Alteration of revenue duties

1 Alteration of revenue duties

(1) For the following provisions of the Finance Act 1964 setting out rates of customs and excise duties and of drawback, namely—

(a ) Table 1 in Schedule 1 (spirits other than imported perfumed spirits) as substituted by section 56(2) of the Finance Act 1972 ; and

(b ) Schedules 2 to 5 (beer, wine, British wine and tobacco) as substituted by section 1(2) of the Finance Act 1969 ;

there shall be substituted the provisions set out in Schedules 1 to 5 to this Act.

(2) In lieu of the duties of customs and excise charged on matches under section 4 of the Finance Act 1951 there shall be charged on matches imported into the United Kingdom a duty of customs, and on matches sent out from the premises of a manufacturer of matches a duty of excise, at the rates shown in Schedule 6 to this Act.

(3) The duties of customs and excise charged on mechanical lighters by section 6 of the Finance Act 1928 shall, instead of being charged at the rates specified in section 8 of the Finance Act 1949 of the Finance Act 1972 , be charged at the rates shown in Schedule 7 to this Act, but no duty shall be chargeable under section 6 of the Act of 1928 on a gas lighter, that is to say a mechanical lighter which is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners to be constructed solely for the purpose of igniting gas for domestic use.

(4) The Treasury may by order made before 1st July 1977 make such provision for altering—

(a ) the rates or incidence of the duties of customs chargeable and reliefs allowable under the Hydrocarbon Oil (Customs & Excise) Act 1971 , and

(b ) the rates of other duties of customs and of drawbacks,

as may be required to give effect to any Community obligation or any obligation under the Geneva Protocol of 21st December 1972.

(5) An order under the preceding subsection—

(a ) may make new distinctions or abolish any distinction between goods of different origin;

(b ) may amend the Hydrocarbon Oil (Customs & Excise) Act 1971 and the Customs and Excise Act 1952 and substitute for any relief under the Act of 1971 such relief as may be specified in the order; and

(c ) may, instead of specifying an inconvenient rate, specify the nearest higher or lower rate that appears to the Treasury to be convenient.

(6) An order under subsection (4) of this section shall be made by statutory instrument and may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order; and any such order—

(a ) shall, if it does not fall within paragraph (b ) below, be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons; and

(b ) shall, if it increases the rate or extends the incidence of any duty or reduces any relief, be laid before the House of Commons after being made, and, unless it is approved by that House before the expiration of twenty-eight days beginning with the date on which it was made, shall cease to have effect on the expiration of that period, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder or to the making of a new order.

In reckoning any such period no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which the House of Commons is adjourned for more than four days.

(7) The substitution by or under this section of a rate of drawback for a rate previously in force shall apply only in relation to goods in respect of which duty at the corresponding rate has been paid.

(8) In Schedules 1 to 7 to this Act—

(a ) any rate shown under the heading 1st July 1973 shall as from that date replace the corresponding rate in force before that date; and

(b ) rates shown under any of the following headings apply to goods of the following descriptions (the lower or lowest rate applying where more than one rate would otherwise be applicable)




Goods qualifying for Commonwealth preference.


Goods originating in a country which at the end of 1972 was part of the Convention area within the meaning of the European Free Trade Association Act 1960 .

Republic of Ireland

Goods of the Republic of Ireland consigned to the United Kingdom from that country.


Goods originating or in free circulation in a State which is a member of the European Economic Community.

Full Other goods.

(9) In section 111(1) and section 122 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952 (which provide for remission of duty on spirits in certain cases by reference to the preferential rate) the following paragraphs shall be substituted for paragraphs (a ) and (b )—

‘(a ) in the case of British spirits, without payment of duty;

(b ) in the case of imported spirits, on payment of the difference (if any) between the duty of customs chargeable on the spirits and the duty of excise chargeable on like spirits’.

(10) This section shall be deemed to have had effect as from 1st April 1973.

S-2 Regulations for determining origin of goods.

2 Regulations for determining origin of goods.

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for determining, for the purposes of any duty of customs, the origin of any goods in cases where it does not fall to be determined under a Community regulation or any Act or other instrument having the force of law.

(2) Regulations under this section may—

(a ) make provision as to the evidence which is to be required or is to be sufficient for the purpose of showing that goods are of a particular origin; and

(b ) make different provision for different purposes and in relation to goods of different descriptions.

(3) Subject to the provisions of any regulations under this section, where in connection with a duty of customs chargeable on any goods any question arises as to the origin of the goods, the Commissioners may require the importer of the goods to furnish to them, in such form as they may prescribe, proof of any statement made to them as to any fact necessary to determine that question; and if such proof is not furnished to their satisfaction, the question may be determined without regard to that statement.

(4) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.

S-3 Continuation of powers under section 9 of Finance Act 1961.

3 Continuation of powers under section 9 of Finance Act 1961.

3. The period after which orders of the Treasury under section 9 of the Finance Act 1961may not be made or continue in force (which, by section 60 of the Finance Act 1972, was extended until the end of August 1973) shall extend until the end of August 1974 or such later date as Parliament may hereafter determine.

II Value Added Tax and Car Tax

Part II

Value Added Tax and Car Tax

S-4 Relief for tax-or duty-paid stock held at commencement of VAT.

4 Relief for tax-or duty-paid stock held at commencement of VAT.

(1) Where the Commissioners of Customs and Excise are satisfied that purchase tax or a duty to which this section applies was charged on or in respect of goods or on or in respect of parts or ingredients of goods which at the beginning of April 1973 were unused and held by a taxable person for sale in the course of his business, then if—

(a ) before the end of April 1973 or, with the sanction of the Commissioners, at a later date the Commissioners were notified, in the manner required by the notice published by them as Notice No. 748, of the particulars so required; and

(b ) the other conditions mentioned in that Notice are satisfied;

an amount determined or arrived at in accordance with subsection (2) of this section to take account of the tax or duty charged may, in the manner specified in the Notice, be included in the return made by the taxable person under Part I of the Finance Act 1972 for the first prescribed accounting period or, with the sanction of the Commissioners, in such a return made for a later period and shall, if so included, be treated for the purposes of that Part as an amount to be deducted as input tax.

In this subsection ‘sale’ includes any supply under a hire-purchase agreement.

(2) The amount that may be so included shall be as follows—

(a ) if it is to take account of purchase tax, then, subject to paragraphs (b ) and (c ) below, it shall be...

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