CIPFA urges Scottish Government to set out devolved tax framework

6 Oct 16

CIPFA has called on the Scottish Government to create a framework for managing devolved taxes that would provide transparency in its plans for revenue raising.

In a contribution to a call for evidence by the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee, the institute said the government had been clear about its approach to managing devolved taxes, linked to its overall programme for government.

Under a wide range of fiscal powers being devolved to Holyrood, the Scottish Government will have full control of income tax from 2017, as well as devolved revenue from VAT and the administration of some benefits, as well as a property transaction tax and landfill tax that are already devolved.

CIPFA called for a comprehensive set of principles to support the assessment of taxation policies and demonstrate the aims and objectives of tax policy being implemented.

The Scottish Government has set out four principles for its taxation system: proportionality to ability to pay; providing certainty to the taxpayer; providing convenience and ease of payment; and efficiency.

CIPFA’s contribution said the expanded, comprehensive list would support the assessment of tax policies.

“The Scottish Government should outline this within a concise framework approach to taxation in order to support transparency and accountability for the emerging system of tax in Scotland,” head of CIPFA Scotland Don Peebles said.

“CIPFA also supports the view that the implementation of new devolved powers requires consideration of the tools needed to manage greater fiscal devolution. This is critical to ensuring good public financial management and financially sustainable services in the long term.”

The institute also called for local government accountability to be strengthened in an overall approach to taxation, including by allowing local taxation to be set and raised locally without central government intervention, and introducing a wider range of discretionary tax powers.

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