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New Property Tax Collection System in Race Against Time

Experts have warned that the computer system to process Scotland’s new Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) may not be in place in time for the April 1st deadline.

The replacement for Stamp Duty comes into effect next year, but auditors have warned that the new system to collect payments may not be in place in time.

Implementing System Will be “Very Tight”

The damning report comes from Audit Scotland which suggests that preparations for the installation of the new tax are behind schedule with the timescale for implementing the new IT system being “very tight”.

Despite the tax applying to up to 600 property transactions a day, the computer systems may not be able to handle the tax with warnings that the payments may have to be processed manually. As a result the report predicts that if this happens it will lead to significant “cost and performance implications” and could result in higher costs for those buying properties as a result of human error and a new taxation system.

“Confident in Plans”

Most worryingly for some, the report claimed that the Scottish Government’s new tax plan relied on one member of staff collecting and collating the figures.

Despite the report, and other criticisms of the new LBTT bill which will cost home buyers more than it would in England, John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary said: “Development of IT is proceeding well and is on track to be completed in good time for the roll-out of tax collection in Scotland this April.

“I am confident we have robust plans in place to ensure smooth delivery of the service and it is heartening to see this thorough planning acknowledged by Audit Scotland.”

The report revealed that the Scottish Government’s estimate for setting up the new tax had risen from £1.1 million to £4.3 million.

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