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Reform of Stamp Duty Land Tax for Scotland

The Scottish Governments has introduced the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Bill which is set to replace the current Stamp Duty Land Tax system currently operating in Scotland on land and property transactions.

The proposed Land and Buildings Transaction Tax will take effect from April 2015 and will be a more progressive tax structure, similar to the current income tax system, where slices of the transaction price will be taxed at increasing percentages. SDLT currently operates a 'slab' system of taxation, where the amount of the consideration determines a single rate of tax which is applied to the whole amount.

"In this bill we are setting out an innovative approach to taxation that is much better aligned with Scots law and practices, and the principle of progressive taxation," Finance Minister John Swinney said. "Rather than the current distortive 'slab' approach which sees people pay too much tax and distorts the market, we will ensure that taxpayers pay an amount more proportionate to the value of their property."

Actual rates and thresholds will be not set until nearer April 2015, but will be much more 'progressive'. For example, they might go up every £5,000.

Isobel d’Inverno, of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “This new tax has the potential to make a real improvement on the current system in Scotland.

“We welcome the simplified drafting of the Bill using Scots law terminology and reflecting Scottish conveyancing practice, and we are particularly pleased to see that the Bill replaces the existing ‘slab and slice’ system of payment with progressive rates.”

Baljinder Purewal 27 February 2013




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