Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Law Society of Scotland supports new ‘distinctly Scottish’ system of land tax

THE Law Society of Scotland has declared its support for the introduction of a new “distinctly Scottish” progressive land tax structure. the new Land & Buildings Transaction Tax is due to replace the current UK wide Stamp Duty Land Tax from April 2015.

Ahead of giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee, Isobel d'Inverno, convener of the Society's Tax Law committee said: “We very much welcome the introduction of a progressive tax structure, rather than the current 'slab' structure, which is perceived by many to be unfair due to the steep rise in tax for properties just above the thresholds.  This distorts the market by keeping prices artificially low and gives rise to avoidance under stamp duty land tax.  We believe that this new progressive structure will eliminate these issues.”

Ms d'Inverno continued: “This proposed new tax has the potential to make a real improvement to the current system in Scotland.  It is very much drafted in Scots law terminology, and reflects Scots property law and conveyancing practice.  The introduction of a much simpler regime for a land and buildings transaction tax  will be of great assistance to solicitors and their clients and will make it much more workable and easier to administer'.”

Isobel d'Inverno, convener, and Iain Doran, member, of the Society's Tax Law Committee will be giving evidence to the Finance Committee at 11.30am in Committee Room 1 on Wednesday 23 January.  It will be available to view on  Parliament TV.

Both the Society's response to the Scottish Government consultation and its written evidence submitted to the Finance Committee on the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Bill can be found on the Society's  website.

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