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Isobel d’Inverno, Law Society of Scotland

Law Society of Scotland welcomes Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Bill

The Law Society of Scotland has welcomed the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Bill, which will provide for new provisions for a Scottish tax on land transactions to replace stamp duty land tax from April 2015.

The bill is the first of three related bills being brought forward by the Scottish Government as a consequence of measures enacted in the Scotland Act 2012.

The society responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation earlier this year, and suggested that in relation to leases, the proposed new tax on land and property transactions should be based on rent actually paid rather than using the current method of calculation.

Isobel d’Inverno (pictured), convener of the society's tax law sub-committee, says: “As we said when we submitted our response to the consultation, this new tax has the potential to make a real improvement on the current system in Scotland. We welcome the simplified drafting of the bill using Scots law terminology and reflecting Scottish conveyancing practice and we are particularly pleased to see that the bill replaces the existing ‘slab and slice’ system of payment with progressive rates.

“The accompanying policy memorandum reflects the constructive discussion that we had with the Scottish Government prior to the introduction of the bill and includes an undertaking to give further consideration to the options we set out for the treatment of non-residential leases, as well as recognition of our concerns about making registration of title subject to receipt of payment.

“The society’s tax law sub-committee is looking forward to considering the bill in full detail.”

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