7. Collaboration with Revenue Scotland
Revenue Scotland are the tax authority responsible for the collection and management of the devolved taxes. To ensure that the administration of tax is independent and impartial, Revenue Scotland is directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament, rather than to the Scottish Government.
While the Scottish Government is responsible for all aspects of policy and future legislation for the fully devolved taxes, the Scottish Government and Revenue Scotland have consistently worked together on the development of tax policy. This collaborative approach ensures that tax policy is evidence based, that changes can be delivered on a practical level and that legislation is informed by Revenue Scotland’s operational and technical experience, whilst safeguarding Revenue Scotland’s independence.
A recent example of this collaboration was during the implementation of the first-time buyer relief for LBTT, where officials from Revenue Scotland provided technical and operational assistance to the Scottish Government, leading to improved and refined legislation. In turn, Revenue Scotland’s early involvement in the process enabled them to prepare extensive guidance and worked examples in advance of the relief coming into force, as well as publish an updated calculator to allow prospective first-time buyers to work out how much LBTT they would now pay.
The terms which underpin this working relationship are set out in an Agreement between the Scottish Government and Revenue Scotland. The relationship has, however, evolved and matured since the agreement was made in 2015 and this work will provide an opportunity to revisit the terms. We will return to stakeholders with an update in due course as this work progresses.