Next steps for Collection and Management of devolved taxes in Wales set out
Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt has yesterday published the responses received on the recent White Paper on Collection and Management of devolved taxes and set out the next steps to take this forward as part of a wider financial agenda.
The White Paper sought views on proposals for administering devolved taxes in Wales, the first taxes to be collected in Wales for over 800 years. Proposals in the White Paper included setting up of a Welsh Revenue Authority, establishing a Taxpayers’ Charter and measures to tackle tax evasion and avoidance.
In implementing the financial reform agenda, the Minister has made a commitment to making devolution work for all of Wales, with outcomes and benefits that include:
- taxes better fitted to meet our needs;
- a greater choice of policy options;
- a more accountable relationship between the Welsh Government and the people of Wales;
- greater flexibility and capability with financial tools and / or levers;
- improved organisational knowledge and effectiveness for the Welsh Government; and
- better informed decision making to seek the common good.
Overall, there was support for the position on the main issues identified in the White Paper. Following completion of the consultation, the Minister confirmed that work is underway to introduce a Tax and Collection and Management (Wales) Bill, to be laid on 6 July.
The Minister said yesterday:
“We have had a strong response to our White Paper on Collection and Management of devolved taxes, including contributions from professional bodies involved in tax matters and bodies representing taxpayers. I am therefore pleased to be setting out today the next steps to take this forward – it is an important step which will see the first taxes being collected in Wales for over 800 years.”
“A central proposal was the establishment of a Welsh Revenue Authority as a Non-Ministerial Department, operating separately from Welsh Ministers and accountable to the Assembly. That received strong backing, as did the establishment of a Taxpayers’ Charter, which would clearly set out the standards and values of the Welsh Revenue Authority and also of Welsh taxpayers.
“Another central element was our proposals to encouraging compliance and preventing and tackling tax avoidance. We will now work to develop a Welsh tax avoidance rule. In doing this we will consider the responses to the White Paper and and draw on experiences elsewhere in the UK, such as the UK General Anti-Abuse Rule and the Scottish General Anti-Avoidance Rule. Importantly, this will also be informed by the forthcoming consultations on Land Transaction Tax, to replace Stamp Duty Land Tax, which I will be launching tomorrow and the consultation on Landfill Disposals Tax which will replace Landfill Tax.
“I have always been clear that the taxes we develop need to be fair to businesses and individuals who pay them; be simple, with clear rules which seek to minimise compliance and administrative costs; support growth and jobs which will in turn help tackle poverty and provide stability and certainty for taxpayers. I am exploring options for sharing the proposed legislation with the Assembly Finance Committee to support early scrutiny of this important new legislation for Wales and look forward to bringing forward a Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Bill in July.”
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