Scottish Taxes


The role of chair of Revenue Scotland is now being advertised by the Scottish Government’s Public Appointments Unit. Current chair Dr Keith Nicolson is scheduled to leave the role in July 2021 and the replacement is expected to take up the post from August 2021.

Report on the 2020 Scottish National Party Conference (online) – 28 – 30 November 2020.

The SNP were the last of the major parties to hold their autumn conference, with an online gathering that began on 28 November and concluded on St. Andrew’s Day, 30 November, with an address to delegates from Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

As with other recent SNP conferences, detailed discussions on tax policy were absent from the main agenda. Nevertheless, a headline-grabbing policy announcement from the first minister, together with some mentions across a smattering of debates and fringe events, as well as recent debates in the Scottish Parliament – help give us an indication of the party’s approach to tax policy in the lead up to next May’s Scottish Parliament elections.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is warning that some of the lowest paid workers stand to benefit the least from the Scottish Government’s new £500 bonus payment to NHS and care workers if the payment is taxed.

The Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee took evidence from John Cullinane, CIOT’s director of public policy and Charlotte Barbour, director of taxation with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) last week (4 November) as part of their scrutiny of the 2021-22 Scottish Budget.

You can watch a video of the session (starting from 10:53:09) on the Scottish Parliament website by clicking here. The official report of proceedings can also be found on the Scottish Parliament’s website here.

The Scottish and Welsh Technical Committees of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) respond to the Treasury Committee inquiry Tax after coronavirus.

Normal politics were on hold at the online Conservative Party Conference, with shortened speeches and curtailed policy debate. The Chancellor committed himself to putting the “overwhelming might of the British state” at the service of struggling businesses and workers, but said that the books would need to be balanced eventually. On the fringe, and in media interviews and reports, there are clues as to which taxes are likely to rise. 

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) respond to the Scottish Government consultation Budget 2021-22: Supporting the COVID-19 Recovery

Labour’s online ‘alternative to a conference’ saw debates on taxing wealth, business taxes and job protection programmes, but little in the way of policy development, as the new leadership plays it safe and focuses its efforts on holding the government to account.

The announcement that the UK Budget will be delayed until 2021 – with an expectation it will be in March – combined with the expected dissolution of the Scottish Parliament ahead of the elections in May next year, could leave MSPs with just a couple of weeks to agree on Scotland’s taxes for next year if last minute changes are needed.

MPs on the House of Commons Treasury Committee questioned tax experts from CIOT, ICAEW and ICAS as part of their Tax after Coronavirus inquiry from 9.30-11.30 on Tuesday 15 September. A live blog of the hearing appears below.