Legislation enacted between 2012 and 2016 devolved responsibility from Westminster to Holyrood in relation to certain areas of tax. This means that the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood now has devolved power over Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) and the forthcoming Air Departure Tax (ADT) as well as certain aspects of Income Tax.
For clients operating in Scotland and the wider UK the implementation and continued development of tax powers in Scotland is an area that is growing in importance. The tax team at Campbell Dallas is closely monitoring the Scottish tax landscape and has expanded to meet expected client need and increasing complexity. The firm appointed Colin McHardy, who was previously Head of Tax Operations and Compliance at Revenue Scotland, where he was involved in the implementation and early interpretation of the new devolved Scottish taxes, as a senior devolved taxes adviser to the tax team.
LBTT came into force for land transactions in Scotland from 1 April 2015, replacing Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). The most common land transactions are purchases of residential or non-residential property and leases of non-residential property (most leases of residential property are exempt from LBTT). However, the definition of land transactions is wide and also catches the purchase of other interests in land, for example sporting rights or mineral rights. The tax team has extensive working knowledge and has advised many clients in this area.
SLfT came into force on 1 April 2015 replacing UK Landfill Tax in Scotland from that date. SLfT liability is with operators of landfill sites, who need to be registered with Revenue Scotland. Landfill operators with sites in Scotland and in the rest of the UK need to register separately with Revenue Scotland for their Scottish operations and with HMRC for their operations in the rest of the UK.
Scottish Income Tax
The Scottish income tax powers apply to non-savings and non-dividend income of Scottish taxpayers, with UK rates continuing to apply to savings and dividend income, so it is important to know whether or not you are a Scottish taxpayer. A straightforward question if you only have one home and it is in Scotland, but it can be a more complex question if you have homes in Scotland and elsewhere. If you are a Scottish taxpayer, it is your responsibility (not your employer’s) to make sure HMRC knows you are a Scottish taxpayer, with interest and penalties as a possibility if you fail to keep HMRC informed of your status.
Devolved taxation is already a vital consideration in the Scottish tax landscape and over the next few years may well become even more high profile, with the new powers that Holyrood has. Over the next year it is expected that Air Departure tax will come into effect, bringing with it further changes between the Scottish and wider UK tax landscape. The Campbell Dallas tax team is fully equipped to consult and advise on legislation and provide effective solutions.
Colin leads the firm’s devolved tax services. Before joining the firm, Colin helped set up Revenue Scotland, the new devolved taxes authority and provided specialist tax advice in relation to the devolved taxes. His main focus was Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). Prior to that, Colin worked for 25 years at HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) in highly technical roles such as Head Office Specialist, Customer Relationship Manager and Technical Specialist. He worked alongside large businesses and has extensive experience of the Scottish and UK financial sectors, tax legislation and drafting taxpayer guidance.
Aileen heads up the firm’s Tax Consultancy Group. She has a background in law and qualified with the Chartered Institute of Tax. Aileen provides bespoke solutions for many of our clients. She is responsible for both onshore and offshore corporate and personal tax consultancy, providing advice on a wide range of transactions including mergers/demergers and acquisitions and disposals, as well as trust structures.
Craig is qualified as a Chartered Tax Advisor and a Chartered Accountant and has provided tax consulting advice to companies and their shareholders for over fifteen years. His clients range from owner managed businesses to large multinational groups. Craig is a member of tax committees at both ICAS and the Law Society of Scotland.