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Published on 20 August 2015

Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament – call for evidence – Scottish rate of income tax

LITRG has submitted a response to the call for evidence published by the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The call for evidence was published with the intention of assisting the Committee’s scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2016/17, which will be published in the late autumn of 2015. In particular, the Committee was seeking views on the Scottish Government’s proposals in relation to the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT).

The SRIT will take effect from 6 April 2016 in relation to non-savings and non-dividend income of Scottish taxpayers. The Scottish Government will propose the rate for the SRIT when they publish the Draft Budget 2016/17. LITRG does not generally comment on the levels and rates of taxation, since these are matters for elected representatives. Our response focuses on the fourth and final question of the call for evidence, which concerns publicity surrounding the SRIT. We use our response to emphasise the need for good communications to ensure the smooth introduction and operation of the SRIT.

We draw attention to the joint decision by HMRC and the Scottish Government not to require the inclusion of separate details of the SRIT on form P60 – the form provided to employees showing their gross salary and income tax paid during the tax year. We are disappointed by and call for a reconsideration of this decision, which will significantly reduce transparency surrounding the SRIT for taxpayers, and will not assist them in understanding what tax they are paying and to whom.

The call for evidence is available on the website of the Scottish Parliament.

The LITRG response can be found here.

Joanne Walker

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