6. Criteria for Considering Change
6.1 The Scottish Government recognises that there are a number of areas where there may be proposals for change in response to this call for evidence and views.
6.2 Careful consideration will be given to all views expressed, supporting evidence and propositions for change offered. In assessing any proposals, the Scottish Government will be guided by the matrix for tax decision making in the Framework for Tax, set out below. Whilst not all aspects of the matrix will be relevant, respondents should take this into account when submitting responses.
6.3 In addition, as set out in the Framework for Tax, the Scottish Government is committed to designing taxes that minimise opportunities for tax avoidance practices. It is widely recognised that the introduction of new exemptions and reliefs can have the potential to introduce complexity and result in loopholes and opportunities for tax avoidance. The Scottish Government will carefully consider this in assessing potential options for change.
Proposals must be accompanied by a policy costing, including an estimate of the impact on our funding position and, where appropriate, an analysis of the distributional impacts. This should include the potential for long-term economic impacts, as well as any impacts on future budgets and the tax base.
Principles and Objectives
Policy options should be considered against the Principles of Good Tax Policy Making, with a clear rationale for any deviation, as well as our strategic objectives and the core policy objectives of the proposed change, identifying any conflicts or trade-offs.
Proposals should be considered in the round alongside: other devolved and local tax policies; our economic strategy; spending plans; social security commitments; wider devolved and local government policies; and UK tax and fiscal policies. Analysis should seek to identify any conflicts or trade-offs.
Affordability and Value for Money
Policy costings should be assessed for affordability and value for money, particularly if tax reliefs or exemptions are being considered.
The policy development process should surface and consider potential impacts, including unintended consequences, and include applicable impact assessments. For example, in relation to equalities, business and regulation, the environment, human rights and the Fairer Scotland Duty.
Deliverability and Administration
Issues pertaining to delivery, administration and collection should be identified and considered at the earliest opportunity, in consultation with the relevant tax authorities, including consideration of the administrative burden on taxpayers and other delivery partners. Assessment should also be given to any legal, operational or political concerns and impact on the Fiscal Framework or in relation to devolution. Timing of a proposed intervention should be considered in relation to fiscal and economic cycles.
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