January 2015

Tax Committee

The Society’s Tax Committee was particularly active in December. The convener of the Committee, Isobel D’Inverno, provided oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee to assist its enquiry into the devolution of further fiscal powers. In particular, it was noted that Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings was a matter that was suitable for further devolution, despite not being included within the Smith Commission. However, the mechanics of the Smith proposal that Holyrood should receive a proportion of the VAT raised in Scotland, was a matter that required close consideration. The Committee also provided comments to the consultation on the proposed Revenue Scotland Charter of Values. Proportionality, transparency and good faith are key principles that the Committee suggests should be at the Charter’s core.

The working group established to help ensure that the implementation of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is as smooth as possible, has also had a very active month. In addition to the monthly meetings the group has been holding with representatives from Revenue Scotland over the past 12 months, they have annotated and provided examples to draft LBTT legislative guidance which is set to be published before 1 April.

The guidance extends to nine chapters on the operation of LBTT and includes an overview of how the tax works, explains how to make an LBTT return and has detailed provisions with respect to leases. The group also attended a session at the Scottish Government’s offices to see a demonstration of how the LBTT online return system will operate. They were encouraged by the prototype they were shown, noting its intuitiveness and user friendly format.

All consultation responses and links to the oral evidence sessions can be found on our website