Opinion Former Article

Tax Institute welcomes Scottish devolution Bill

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed the passing of the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill1 by the Scottish Parliament. This means that Scotland now has the legal framework to operate its own tax authority for devolved taxes.

Moira Kelly, Chair of the CIOT’s Scottish Technical Sub-committee, commented:

“Though all eyes are fixed firmly on the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum in just under one month, the passing of the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill1 has now permanently changed Scotland’s tax landscape regardless of a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote. Scotland now has its own tax authority, firmly established in law.

“A number of tax powers have already been devolved to Scotland since the passing of the Scotland Act in May 2012. The commencement of the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) in April 2016 means that Scotland will levy its own rate of income tax to supplement a reduced UK rate. Laws have also been passed which replace Stamp Duty Land Tax with a Land & Buildings Transaction Tax and devolve Landfill Tax to Scotland, both effective from April 2015. This demonstrates growing confidence in Scotland’s capacity to manage its own tax affairs.

“Positive changes were made during the passage of the latest Bill. A more balanced tone in the framework for a  charter clarifying behaviour expected of both taxpayers and Revenue Scotland, has been struck. Language has been tweaked where there were formerly ambiguities. Tax rules regarding penalties, for example when they apply and what they arise in respect of, were not originally included in the primary legislation but now are. These are the fruits of a sound consultative process where concerns have been listened to2. Some disappointments remain though, including a lack of detail on the rights, duties and obligations of agents and advisers.

“Whatever happens on September 18th, Scotland’s tax powers will continue to grow. The three UK-wide parties have all committed to further devolution of tax and other powers in the event of a ‘no’ vote. The CIOT is pleased to be involved in various working groups on technical and practical issues around the transfer of tax powers and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with governments in both Edinburgh and London to ensure that any further transfer of tax powers is as smooth as possible.”


Notes to editors:

 

1.       The Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill, can be accessed in full, along with its progression through the Scottish Parliament, here.

2.       The submission of the CIOT on the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill, can be read in full here.

3.       The Chartered Institute of Taxation


The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries.  The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.

The CIOT’s 17,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

James Knell
External Relations Officer

+44 (0)20 7340 2702

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