2020-21 Annual Summary of Trends in the Devolved Taxes published

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Revenue Scotland has today published its Annual Summary of Trends in the Devolved Taxes 2020-21

This comprehensive report gives an insight into the performance trends of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) since tax operations began in April 2015.

The impact of COVID-19 on tax revenue and property transactions is evident within these statistics.

April 2020 saw an unprecedented drop in the number of LBTT returns of all types submitted during the first lockdown, before steadily recovering from July 2020 onwards. LBTT revenues from residential house sales increased every year from 2015/16 to 2019/20 before falling in 2020/21, along with a drop in the number of residential returns received related to COVID-19 restrictions, and a reduction in tax due for the majority of returns due to a temporary change in the nil rate band.

SLfT declared due for the first quarter of 2021 was 40 percent lower than the previous year due to the disruption of the initial restrictions, whereas revenues during quarters 2 to 4 were very similar to those reported for the same quarters in the previous year.

Other key points from the publication highlight that:

  • Residential property sales accounted for around £382 million, or 73 percent of the total £526 million LBTT declared due in Scotland in 2020-21.
  • Non-residential sales accounted for 24 percent (£126 million) which is a significant (-27 percent) drop from the average annual revenue of £173 million for the previous five years. Leases accounted for 4 percent (£19 million) in 2020/21, the lowest annual total so far.
  • The City of Edinburgh remains the largest contributor of residential LBTT in 2020/21, accounting for £86 million in residential LBTT revenue (excluding Additional Dwelling Supplement), 33 percent of the total. The second largest contributor, Glasgow City, accounted for £20 million (8 percent), although there were similar numbers of residential sales in both local authorities (around 10,500).
  • Scottish Landfill Tax has fallen from £149 million in 2015/16 to £106 million in 2020/21.
  • £106 million SLfT declared due in 2020/21 represents a decrease of 10 percent on the previous year, demonstrating the year-on-year decreases in the disposal of standard rate waste to landfill (1.17 million tonnes in 2020/21, down 13 percent from the previous year).

Revenue Scotland Chief Executive Elaine Lorimer highlighted the importance of producing this annual publication to provide detailed insights into longer-term LBTT and SLfT performance to a wide range of people.

She said: “Our annual statistics publication is invaluable in providing an accurate and objective overview of longer term trends in Scotland’s devolved taxes, and the additional detail provided complements our monthly LBTT and quarterly SLfT statistical bulletins. I hope members of the public as well as agents, accountancy and property firms, environmental organisations, government and local authorities will find it insightful.”

The full report is available along with supporting material to download. It includes an appendix detailing how the numbers in the statistics publication relate to the accounting figures reported in Revenue Scotland’s recently published Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Read Annual Summary of Trends in the Devolved Taxes 2020-21 report.