HM Revenue & Customs defended its implementation of devolved income tax rates as tax professionals reported errors in the identification of Scottish taxpayers.
HMRC was unable to provide the National Audit Office with an action plan for the implementation of Welsh income tax, setting out “lessons learned” from the earlier implementation of Scottish income tax, the NAO said in a January 24 report. The plan was drawn up after a July 2017 event attended by HMRC staff involved in the Scottish project…
My news story for Tax Notes (free to view), published January 25:
HMRC Defends Devolution Record Amid Tax Code Error Reports
The Scottish government’s tax policies will continue to focus on fairness and investment in public services, Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work, said as he delivered his budget.
But Mackay ignored the pleas of business groups who had expressed concerns over a “growing tax gap” between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, according to Murdo Fraser, Conservative member of the Scottish Parliament and shadow finance secretary. My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 13:
Scottish Higher Rate Threshold Frozen Amid ‘Tax Gap’ Concerns
Planned changes to Scottish rates of income tax would add further complexity to a system that is already difficult for taxpayers to understand, tax professionals said after Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution, set out Scotland’s draft budget on December 14.
“Complexity is the price Scots will pay for exercising devolved powers over income tax. Today’s announcement underlines the increasingly diverging nature of income tax between Scotland and the rest of the UK,” said Moira Kelly, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Scottish Technical Committee. The proposals have the potential to “increase both the costs and complexity of administering Scottish income tax as well as throwing into the mix some interesting anomalies,” she said.
The changes would establish Scotland as “a country with a very distinct tax system from the rest of the UK,” said Lindsay Hayward, head of tax for PwC in Scotland.
My news story for Tax Analysts, December 15 (paywall)