Tax professionals comment on UK Budget

Commenting on today’s UK budget (22 November), Moira Kelly, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Scottish Technical Committee, said: 'The Scottish government will have less than three weeks in which to consider the impact of today’s UK budget and set out its own budget proposals to the Scottish parliament.

'Many of today’s announcements will add increased complexities to an already constrained timetable and will increase attention on how it uses its devolved tax powers. The decision to increase the tax-free personal allowance to £11,850 will benefit nearly 2.4 million basic and higher rate Scottish taxpayers, but those already earning under the current personal allowance of £11,500 will gain nothing.

'The decision will also reduce the overall number of people who pay income tax in Scotland and will require the Scottish government to consider how best it can use the income tax powers that it has to recover this lost revenue.

'Similarly, the decision by Philip Hammond to raise the price at which a property becomes liable for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to £300,000 for first-time home buyers on properties up to the price of £500,000 is also likely to prompt discussions over how Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) can be adapted to support first-time buyers in Scotland.

'Recent history has shown a high degree of back and forth between LBTT and SDLT policy decisions, with the UK following the Scottish government’s lead on the removal of the slab system and Scotland following the introduction across the UK of the additional dwelling supplement.'

Notes for editors

1. The Scottish government’s income tax powers do not include control over the tax-free personal allowance, which remains reserved to the UK government.

2. The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation.

One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties.

Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.

The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved.

We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.

The CIOT’s 18,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.