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Landmark law paves the way for tax devolution

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has committed to consulting widely on new tax legislation following the First Minister’s announcement that a landmark law on tax collection and management would be brought forward in this Assembly term. 

The legislation marks a major step towards ensuring that Wales will be equipped to implement its new devolved tax powers, which the Welsh and UK Governments have agreed to devolve in April 2018.  From that date, the UK Government will ‘turn off’ stamp duty land tax and landfill tax in Wales, and replacement Welsh taxes will come into effect.

The bill will establish an arm’s length corporate body - to be known as the Revenue Authority for Wales – which will have legal responsibility for collection and management of the Welsh devolved taxes.  

It will also set out the rights and responsibilities of Welsh taxpayers.in the full and proper payment of Welsh taxes.

Jane Hutt said:

"The new tax and borrowing powers that we have secured through the Silk process represent an historic change for devolution and for Wales.  It is essential that we start preparing now for these new powers, which is why it is important that we legislate in the lifetime of the current Assembly to set out how the Welsh taxes will be collected and managed.  This is one of the first steps in establishing a Welsh Treasury.

"I have been clear that my principles for these new taxes are that they will be fair to businesses or individuals who pay taxes; be simple with clear rules which seek to minimise compliance and administration costs; support growth and jobs, which will in turn help tackle poverty; and provide stability and certainty to tax payers, with changes subject to proper consultation with stakeholders."

A White Paper on the legislative proposals will be published on 16 September this year, while legislation on tax collection and management is expected to be introduced in the Assembly in summer 2015.      
 
Jane Hutt added:

"The tax collection and management bill is only the start of the tax legislation that we will need to pass over the coming years. In spring 2015, I will be publishing consultations on the Welsh replacements for stamp duty land tax and landfill tax, to prepare the ground for legislation early in the next Assembly term.  

"It is really important that we develop our devolved taxes in a way that is right for Wales and I have worked closely with my Tax Advisory Group in developing our approach and proposals, and will continue to engage them fully as we progress towards legislation."

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