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Fiscal Responsibility

The Scottish approach to the devolved taxes

The Deputy First Minister in his previous role of Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth originally set out the Scottish Government's vision for tax in Scotland in his statement to the Scottish Parliament of 7 June 2012.

In his statement he confirmed that the Scottish Government’s approach to tax will be fit for the 21st century, but embedded in Adam Smith’s four key maxims. These are:

  • Proportionate to ability to pay
  • Certainty for the taxpayer
  • Convenience/ease of payment
  • Efficiency

In addition, the Scottish approach to tax will support the Government’s Purpose of achieving sustainable economic growth, and be tailored for Scotland, using Scots laws.

The Scottish Government has introduced replacement taxes on disposals to landfill and on land and property transactions and took the opportunity to ensure that these replacement taxes were appropriate for Scotland.

Ther Scottish Government has also established in statute a Scottish tax administration function, Revenue Scotland, which is  responsible for the administration and collection of the devolved taxes, at arm’s length from Ministers. 

Revenue Scotland is working with Registers of Scotland to assure collection and compliance of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on Scottish Landfill Tax.

Scottish Income Tax 2017/18

The Scotland Act 2016 provides the Scottish Parliament with power to set the rates and band thresholds that will apply to all non-savings non-dividend income tax paid by Scottish taxpayers. The Scottish Parliament set the rates and band thresholds (excluding the personal allowance) for tax year 2017/18 on the 21 February 2017.   

For further information please click.

Scottish Rate of Income Tax 2016/17

The Scotland Act 2012 provides for the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT).  SRIT took effect from 6 April 2016, while the Scottish Parliament had the power to set the Scottish Rate of Income tax HMRC continued to be responsible for the collection and management of Income Tax.  As such Income tax will remain part of the existing UK income tax system and is not a devolved tax.  For further information please click.