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Scottish tax authority praised by Audit Scotland

Scottish tax authority praised by Audit Scotland

The introduction of the new Scottish land and property tax regime has been handled well by The Scottish tax authority, says Audit Scotland.

According to a report, which considered how Revenue Scotland performed in delivering the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and the Scottish Landfill Tax, Revenue Scotland had successfully managed the process and dealt with all the problems that occurred.

Fully functional

Overcoming delays in installing a new IT system and appointing the necessary staff needed for collecting and administering the taxes meant that everything was fully functional when Scotland's new taxing powers "went live" on April 1, 2015.

The report also pointed out that co-operation between the Scottish Government and the UK tax authority HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) bodes well for the upcoming introduction of the Scottish Rate of Income Tax next year.

Good project management

Auditor General for Scotland Caroline Gardner commented: "Good project management involves recognizing emerging risks and responding quickly to address them. Revenue Scotland effectively managed the risks highlighted in my previous report in December 2014 and successfully delivered the devolved taxes from April this year."

In last year's report, Audit Scotland had warned that delays could have put the system at risk for the administration of the LBTT and Landfill Tax.

Audit Scotland found that the implementation of the devolved taxes cost £5.5m, which was £1.2m more than had been originally estimated and that increased staffing costs were mainly to blame for the over-run.

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