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Proposal for Scots Law-based land and property tax

Decisions about the future of Scotland’s taxes should be made by the people of Scotland, Finance Secretary John Swinney has said.

The passage of the Scotland Act 2012 means that from April 2015 the Scottish Parliament will be empowered to introduce and manage taxes on the purchase or leasing of land and buildings and the disposal of waste to landfill.

In a statement to Parliament, Mr Swinney outlined Scottish Government plans to make full use of these powers to introduce two replacement taxes which would be embedded in Scots law, reflect Scottish values and Scottish circumstances.

He launched the consultation for the first of these taxes: the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax to replace Stamp Duty Land Tax. The proposals include changing the structure of the tax to a progressive system where the amount of tax paid is more closely related to the value of the property.

The proposal has been welcomed by the Law Society of Scotland. Society President, Austin Lafferty, said:

“This is a particularly welcome announcement from the Cabinet Secretary. The proposals for a distinct Scottish property and land tax would introduce clarity where there has long been confusion and remove the often unnecessary anxiety and delay for solicitors’ clients who are involved in property transactions.”