Scotland’s new tax agency gears up for April start

John Swinney: Revenue Scotland to "hit the ground running". Picture: Jane Barlow
John Swinney: Revenue Scotland to "hit the ground running". Picture: Jane Barlow
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SCOTLAND’S new tax agency is ready to “hit the ground running” as it prepares to administer the first devolved taxes for more than 300 years, according to the Deputy First Minister.

Revenue Scotland has been set up to collect the land and buildings transaction tax, which replaces the current stamp duty, and the Scottish landfill tax from April 1.

John Swinney has now written to the UK Government asking for the necessary legislation to be laid at Westminster to “switch off” the two UK taxes in Scotland - stamp duty land tax and UK landfill tax - from April 1.

He said: “Revenue Scotland staff have been working extremely hard to implement our long-standing plans to be ready to hit the ground running on April 1, to collect and manage the two devolved taxes.

“A group of senior Scottish and UK government officials have agreed that all necessary preparations are now in place and arrangements can now be made to introduce the devolved taxes.”

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Mr Swinney added: “These two new taxes are the first national taxes for Scotland in 308 years and it is important that they are administered fairly and correctly.

“Last week, I announced a revision of LBTT rates, which will mean 50% of all household transactions paying no tax and more than 40,000 buyers paying less on the purchase of a new home.

“Our ultimate aim is to apply a fair tax regime to help grow the economy and increase opportunities for people. I am confident Revenue Scotland is up to that challenge.”

Last month First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that progress on the new tax authority would be monitored very closely from the highest level of Government as auditors warned there was an ‘’increased risk’’ that the IT system may not be ready on time.

Revenue Scotland formally become a non-ministerial department on January 1.

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