Scottish Income Tax Board: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Income Tax Board.


During the implementation of the Scotland Act 2012 and the Scotland Act 2016, governance of Scottish Income Tax was managed through the individual projects (Scottish Rate of Income Tax, Further Scottish Income Tax powers and Scottish Relief at Source) with a monthly Scottish Income Tax Project Board reporting to the quarterly Scottish Programme Board.

The Scottish Income Tax Board replaced that governance to oversee business as usual Scottish Income Tax delivery. It has been in place since January 2019.


The board is responsible for overseeing the operational delivery of Scottish Income Tax, ensuring that HMRC meets its obligations under the Service Level Agreement. The board considers opportunities for continuous improvement in HMRC’s administration of Scottish Income Tax and agrees costs to be recharged to the Scottish Government.


The board meet quarterly to discuss Scottish Income Tax. Meetings are hybrid, alternating between Scottish Government and HMRC locations.


When the Scottish Government hosts the meeting, Lorraine King, Deputy Director, Tax Strategy, Engagement, and Performance in the Scottish Government will chair. When HMRC hosts the meeting, Philip Batchelor, Deputy Director, Income Tax Policy, in HMRC will chair.


The board brings together key stakeholders of the administration of Scottish Income Tax to facilitate cross-cutting discussions. This allows the Scottish Government and HMRC to build an overarching understanding of the business as usual elements of delivery and new issues as they arise. Board attendees are expected to provide papers where appropriate to guide these and discussions.


The secretariat for the board is provided by the HMRC Income Tax Policy team. Papers will be available at least 5 working days in advance of the meeting and minutes will be circulated within 5 working days of the meeting. An action log keeps track of all outstanding and completed actions. Some items for discussion may by exception be agreed via correspondence.

The board is keen to engage with external stakeholders to ensure it takes a comprehensive view of the administration of Scottish Income Tax and its effect on taxpayers. The board has agreed to hold an annual stakeholder event from 2023 onwards to support this aim.

Further governance and escalation routes

The single points of contact meet at least fortnightly and the co-chairs of the board meet as required outside of the board. The signatories of the Service Level Agreement meet bi-annually. The Service Level Agreement is subject to an annual review and one of these meetings sees the signatories confirm any changes.


The Scottish Government and HMRC are committed to ensuring the board is transparent about its activities. Following approval, minutes for the board will be published quarterly by both the Scottish Government and HMRC from the 2023 to 2024 financial year onwards.

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