The Scottish Parliament has published a consultation: 'A Scottish approach to taxation call for evidence'  ahead of developing a new approach to taxation.

It says that:

As a result of the devolution of taxation powers via the Scotland Act 2012 and 2016 the structure of devolved public finance will shift from a focus upon expenditure to consideration of revenue-raising and the principles which should underpin the Scottish approach to taxation.

Reflecting this shift in the nature of devolved public finance, the Finance Committee wishes to initiate a debate on the approach which should be followed in developing a Scottish approach to taxation. 

Notably, the Scottish Government has stated that four principles will underpin its approach to taxation policy. 

These four principles are that taxation policy should:

  • Be proportionate to the ability to pay
  • Provide certainty to the taxpayer
  • Provide convenience / ease of payment, and
  • Be efficient.

Accordingly, the Finance Committee has agreed to undertake an Inquiry on a Scottish approach to taxation.

The Committee is interested in hearing views on the approaches and principles which should guide the development of a Scottish approach to taxation.  In particular, the Committee would be interested in hearing views with regard to the following issues:

  • How can the Scottish Government’s four principles to underpin Scottish taxation policy best be achieved?
  • How does the current taxation regime and proposals for newly devolved taxes align against these four principles?
  • Is there scope for a fundamentally different approach to taxation in Scotland?
  • Should future tax changes be ring-fenced and if so, how? If not, why?
  • To what extent do potential behavioural responses limit options for tax changes in Scotland?
  • To what extent do the mechanisms for administering the Scottish income tax system via HMRC limit the scope for a different tax system in Scotland to develop?
  • Are there any other administrative limitations to the emergence of a Scottish tax system?

How to submit your evidence

The closing date for responses is Friday 30 September 2016.

All responses should be sent electronically (in Word format – no confirmatory hard copy required) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Written responses will be handled in accordance with the Parliament’s policy for handling written evidence received in response to calls for evidence. All written evidence received may be published by the Parliament and will be treated as a public document. If you wish to submit evidence in confidence or anonymously please read the policy at the link above. 

What happens next?

The Committee will consider all written evidence received before deciding upon those witnesses from whom it wishes to hear oral evidence in due course.

Links: Scottish Parliament: A Scottish approach to taxation call for evidence