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Revenue Scotland ready to replace HMRC for devolved taxes

2nd Jan 2015
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Revenue Scotland, the department replacing HMRC in the country from 1 April is "on track" to manage devolved tax collection according to the Scottish government.

It formally became a non-ministerial department on 1 January.

Its board members have been announced, including chair Dr Keith Nicholson, an internationally recognised scientist and company director and John Whiting, tax director of the Office of Tax Simplification.

Around 21 staff have been placed, and a final wave of recruitment will begin this month. However tax policy director at the CIOT Patrick Stevens has warned that some salaries may be too low for the expertise required. 

Applicants are being offered £20,000 - £30,000 per year to become tax risk analysts and business managers. Stevens said however that this was "absurdly far away" from the salary it takes to recruit experts and expressed his concern that staff won't be qualified enough.

He said: “You are not going to get the experts you want. You are not talking about expertise on an existing tax because much of it is new. You have to have a higher-level person to be able to handle these new situations.”

Last month Audit Scotland criticised the new tax department, saying delays in hiring staff and procuring an IT system have increased the risk taxes won't be effectively managed this year.

But Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "satisfied" with steps being taken and vowed to closely monitor its progress. 

The new department's website is currently live, as are some features such as its online tax calculator. This month it is undergoing user testing, and in February its online tax portal is set to go live, and payment systems and banking arrangements have been finalised.

It is drafting guidance on the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) which will replace SDLT, in addition to the Scottish Landfill tax (SLfT).

You can follow Revenue Scotland on Twitter to keep up to date on its progress @RevenueScotland.


Replies (8)

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David Ross
By davidross
05th Jan 2015 11:01

It is not 1 April?

Just asking

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05th Jan 2015 12:58

Revenue Scotland ready to replace HMRC

I recognise the irony in choosing that date and I suspect a car crash lies ahead.

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By cfield
05th Jan 2015 13:58

Will they still be administering English tax?

HMRC have several offices in Scotland. Almost 50% of the HMRC letters we get these days seem to emanate from Edinburgh or Glasgow. So if Revenue Scotland are taking over from HMRC, does that mean these offices will now deal only with Scottish taxpayers or will they remain within HMRC and deal with taxpayers from the rest of the UK too?

Perish the thought, could we in England be getting letters from Revenue Scotland soon, about English taxpayers? And what about Scottish taxpayers who move down South? Will their tax records need to migrate from Revenue Scotland to HMRC, or vice versa for English taxpayers moving to Scotland?

It all sounds like a tremendous waste of time and money, with many cases bound to fall fall through the cracks, just to please the Nationalists. They could have dealt with the differences that will inevitably arise now between UK and Scottish taxes quite easily without this de-merger and all the hassle that will go with it.

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
05th Jan 2015 15:29

Info on what taxes Revenue Scotland are in charge of.

This is from the Scottish Government Website

 They are not replacing the HMRC, many taxes will still continue to be under the HMRC please see details below in my posts.  So they will still want to keep the Cumbernauld office open as they will still be collecting taxes through the HMRC. 


"Revenue Scotland will be the tax authority responsible for the administration of Scotland's devolved taxes.  In the first instance, Revenue Scotland will focus on administration of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT). It will work closely with Registers of Scotland (RoS) to prepare for LBTT and with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on the replacement for UK Landfill Tax.

The Acts for the new taxes, LBTT and SLfT, were granted Royal Assent in July 2013 and January 2014 respectively, and will operate from 1 April 2015, subject to Ministerial approval.

Revenue Scotland was set up as an administrative unit of the Scottish Government in 2012. In 2015, in line with international good practice, it will have been established in statute as a Non-Ministerial Department and therefore will operate at arm’s length from Ministers.

The Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act (RSTPA) was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 19 August 2014.  This provides for the establishment of Revenue Scotland and Scottish Tax Tribunals; puts in place a general anti-avoidance rule; and makes provision about the collection and management of devolved taxes. Royal Assent was granted on 24 September 2014.

Revenue Scotland’s website is now live

You will find tax calculators on the site and guidance on LBTT and SLfT will be added in phases, well before 1 April 2015.  Agents dealing with taxes will be able to register to use the new system (for example to submit tax returns) by February 2015."

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
05th Jan 2015 14:56

Devolved Tax Collaborative (DTC)

Info provided from Scottish Government Website. 

"The purpose of the DTC is to work with Scottish Government to establish and improve the operation of Scotland's devolved taxes, including considering points for consultation and draft legislation and to promote the wider understanding of the devolved approach to tax.

Revenue Scotland hosted the first meeting of the Devolved Tax Collaborative in Edinburgh on 1 March 2013. Representatives of 24 organisations attended the event and participated in lively discussion of plans for implementation of the taxes that will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax and UK Landfill Tax from 1 April 2015."

Notes from the meetings can be found below.

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
05th Jan 2015 15:03

What Scottish Revenue will not do

Info from Scottish Revenue Site


"The Scottish Parliament has legislated for LBTT and SLfT. Revenue Scotland has the power to administer these taxes only. All other taxes, and the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) being introduced on 6 April 2016, remain under the administration of HMRC. There are no changes to the gathering of local taxes in Scotland; Council Tax and non-domestic rates, for example, remain the responsibility of local authorities.

Information about how the Scottish Parliament will set the SRIT can be found on both the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government website. Further information about income tax, including the Scottish Rate of Income Tax, is available on the HMRC website.

For information on Council Tax and non-domestic rates, please visit your local government website, available through the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) site.


Last updated: 

19 November 2014"


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By Charlie Carne
05th Jan 2015 15:17


I'm not too concerned where their offices are located, but will HMRC use this as an opportunity to close their bank account at Cumbernauld, so that I can give all my clients the same bank account number (at Shipley) into which to pay their tax?

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By North East Accountant
06th Jan 2015 09:47

Cant wait

I can't wait until 06/04/16 when it will be oh so simple!

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