Press release: Tax professionals respond to Air Departure Tax Bill vote

Commenting following the Scottish Parliament’s vote this evening (20 June) to approve the Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill, Moira Kelly, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Scottish Technical Committee, said:

“Today’s vote marks another important milestone in Scotland’s tax devolution journey, creating the framework that will enable Air Departure Tax (ADT) to be wholly administered and collected north of the border.

“However, we remain none the wiser as to how the Scottish Government’s stated policy objectives for the bill – supporting improved connectivity and sustainable economic growth – will be reflected in the rates and bands of the new tax when it takes effect from April next year.

“By failing to include the detail of who will pay what in primary legislation and by deferring this detail until later in the year, the Scottish Government has missed an opportunity to provide those impacted by the tax – passengers, airlines and airports – with advanced notice of what they will pay in the future and how this compares with the outgoing regime it has been designed to replace.

“We think that the government has adopted an encouraging and proactive approach to setting out its priorities for, and approach to, designing Scotland’s devolved taxes. But a lack of detailed consultation about rates and bands has the potential to hamper this broadly consultative approach and risks reduced scrutiny.”1

The Scottish Government has indicated that it will set out the detail around the proposed rates and bands for ADT in secondary legislation. This legislation is expected to be introduced following the summer recess.


Notes for editors

  1. In January 2017, the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Institute for Government and Institute for Fiscal Studies published Better Budgets: making tax policy better. The report outlines ten steps toward improving the UK’s tax policymaking process, including improved consultation and scrutiny of tax policy measures.