Landmark Bill paves the way for first Welsh taxes in 800 years
13 Jul 2015 11:06 AM
A landmark Bill which puts in place arrangements for the collection and management of devolved taxes marks a significant new chapter in Welsh devolution, Minister for Finance and Government Business Jane Hutt said recently.
With the devolution of two new Welsh taxes from April 2018, Wales is establishing its own devolved tax arrangements for the first time.
The Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Bill will set in law arrangements to enable the collection and management of devolved taxes, providing revenue that is essential to help fund our vital public services.
The Bill, will be launched by the Finance Minister during a visit to the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, will establish the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) and will confer powers and duties to enable it to collect and manage devolved taxes.
The Bill places duties on taxpayers to pay penalties and interest in certain circumstances and provides the right to request internal reviews of WRA decisions and to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. It will also provide for a Charter of Standards and Values – a Taxpayers’ Charter – to be put in place, laid before the Assembly and reported on annually.
The WRA will have comparable powers to other UK tax authorities so that its functions can be undertaken consistently and comprehensively. This includes powers to help encourage and enforce tax compliance, including powers to undertake civil investigation and enforcement. It also includes arrangements to enable criminal investigation and enforcement powers to be conferred on WRA officials.
Finance Minister said:
“The introduction of the Bill marks a significant new chapter in Welsh devolution. For the first time in almost 800 years, we will be able to develop taxes that meet Welsh needs and priorities and will be responsible for generating some of our own revenue.
“This Bill is the first of three pieces of legislation which will establish devolved taxes in Wales. This Bill will put in place tax collection and management arrangements in readiness for our future Welsh taxes - Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT).
“We have engaged widely and listened to the views and concerns of stakeholders and business. Businesses and taxpayers deserve a system of taxation that is fundamentally simple and transparent. The tax arrangements we are putting in place provide consistency and minimise the burden on taxpayers whilst enabling tax compliance.
“Our tax arrangements for Wales are based on four clear principles – fairness; simplicity; supporting jobs and growth; and stability and certainty. At its core the Bill represents our commitment to a self-confident and prosperous Wales.”
The Bill also gives Welsh Ministers powers to prescribe the bodies to whom the WRA may delegate its functions. Last month, the Finance Minister announced the organisations who will work with the WRA to collect and manage taxes in Wales.