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Scottish independence: proposed tax system revealed

Finance Minister John Swinney has revealed new details of the tax body in an independent Scotland. Picture: TSPL

Finance Minister John Swinney has revealed new details of the tax body in an independent Scotland. Picture: TSPL

  • by Scott Macnab
 

Plans to create a new Scottish taxman were unveiled by Finance Secretary John Swinney today with a pledge to crackdown on tax avoidance.

Revenue Scotland would be the body responsible for collecting all of the country’s taxes if Scots back independence in next year’s referendum.

It will initially collect two new two taxes poised to come under the control of Holyrood in 2015 - the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and the proposed Scottish Landfill Tax.

New laws published today by Mr Swinney provide a legal framework for the collection of the taxes devolved under the Scotland Act 2012.

The Bill also contains tough rules to counteract tax avoidance, including a General Anti Avoidance Rule.

“This Government will take a distinctly Scottish approach to taxation, including a vigorous approach to combatting tax avoidance,” Mr Swinney

said.

“The Bill and the establishment of Revenue Scotland are important steps in taking greater responsibility for setting and collecting taxes in Scotland.

White paper

The SNP Government’s white paper on independence, published last month, Scotland’s Future, sets out how the development of the devolved taxes, including the tax collection framework in today’s bill, will form the basis of a future independent Scottish tax system.

“I want to build a firm foundation for taxation in Scotland,” Mr Swinney added.

“In Revenue Scotland we will build a tax authority and a 21st century tax system that meets the needs of our businesses and citizens. That

system will also provide a foundation for future arrangements where we expect Scotland to collect a much wider range of taxes.”

 

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