Public input is being invited as the Scottish Government seeks to develop Scotland’s first Framework for Tax.

The framework is intended to underpin and support the development of tax policy in Scotland, creating greater transparency and coherency.

Ministers have opened a consultation on their overarching approach to tax policy making and on how the Government should use its devolved and local tax powers as part of the Scottish Budget 2022-23. They hope to attract wideranging views on how best to deploy these powers to support the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19.

While the short term view of tax policy is pivotal, the Scottish Government also accepts the importance of looking further ahead in relation to tax policy making, and invites views on tax priorities for the duration of the current Parliament (2021-26).

In creating the Framework for Tax, the Scottish Government is aiming to:

  • be open and transparent about how the approach to tax policy;
  • exemplify best practice and embed continuous improvement by ensuring tax decisions are coherent, rooted in a defined set of principles and objectives and rigorously appraised, with proactive engagement at the heart of tax policy making;
  • improve sequencing so that policy and Budget cycles align as far as possible;
  • take a forward thinking approach especially in the wake of COVID-19, identifying medium to longer-term opportunities and threats.

The approach will continue to be underpinned by the principles adopted following devolution of further tax powers in 2016, these being the four principles proposed by the 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith (certainty, proportionality to the ability to pay, convenience and efficiency), to which have been added engagement and anti-avoidance

Strategic objectives the Government is pursuing are:

  • generating stable revenues to fund public services and support social renewal;
  • supporting a wellbeing economy by helping to deliver a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery;
  • delivering national outcomes by reducing inequality and funding public services that promote wellbeing and citizens' rights;
  • delivering a robust and flexible tax system with the ability to respond to societal and economic shifts.

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 26 October 2021.