The Countdown to New Scottish Taxes

By Donald Drysdale

16 March 2015

Donald Drysdale CA, freelance author and Series Editor at ICAS Partner* Bloomsbury Professional, asks - do you know the nex tax authority's rights, duties and powers? 

Revenue Scotland in the spotlight

HM Revenue and Customs, with a headcount that's down from 90,000 in 2005 to 60,000 today, administers all UK-wide direct and indirect taxes, national insurance, social security, tax credits, anti-money laundering registration and the enforcement of the national minimum wage.

Scotland, with one-third of the UK's land, contains 8.4% of the UK population. From 1 April 2015 the new tax authority Revenue Scotland aims to administer two devolved taxes - Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT). Admittedly they'll delegate some of their functions to two other bodies - Registers of Scotland for LBTT and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) for SLfT.

New ground rules

The plan sounds ambitious, to say the least. But don't be misled into thinking that tax avoidance will be rife. The Scottish Government has established ground rules which take a tougher stance than Westminster when it comes to avoidance. And Revenue Scotland's new 'general anti-avoidance rule' seems likely to extend much more widely than HMRC's equivalent UK-wide 'general anti-abuse rule'.

As April approaches, Revenue Scotland have been struggling to get all their necessary systems, secondary legislation and guidance in place. Across the UK, practitioners whose clients have Scottish interests are becoming increasingly keen to learn about Revenue Scotland's new taxes management powers, which will be separate and distinct from those which HMRC apply for UK taxes.

Tax Management - Clearing the Scotch Mist

The UK tax system is complex enough already. Now, many practitioners who now and love the UK's long established tax administration will have to get to grips with another regime - surprisingly similar in many ways but deceptively different in others.

To help explain immediate and future changes, Bloomsbury Professional are extending their Scottish tax list with The Management of Taxes in Scotland, writen by Charlotte Barbour MA CA CTA, Head of Taxation (Private Clients & Small Business) at ICAS. This volume will provide information and analysis explaining how the devolved Scottish taxes are to be collected under powers established by the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014, and how these powers interlink with the respective tax-specific provision of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013 and the Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014.

This new book follows hard on the heels of 'Land and Buildings Transaction Tax' by Ken Wright CA CA CTA, published in February and explaining the new LBTT legislation in depth.

To find out how Bloomsbury Professional can help you keep abreast of Scotland's evolving tax regime, please visit their website at

Bloomsbury Professional are working with ICAS to give ICAS members and their firms access to exclusive discounts on their Scottish Tax series. If you want to find out more simply visit the ICAS website, call 01444 416 119 or visit the Bloomsbury website.

About the Series Editor

Donald Drysdale CA CTA(Fellow) TEP MBCS CITP

Donald Drysdale, a former tax partner at KPMG in Glasgow and later assistant director of tax at ICAS, is freelance author. He is Series Editor of Bloomsbury Professional's Scottish Tax List and author of their Corporation Tax 2014/15 annual.


  • Tax
  • Political landscape
  • Development of the profession

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