Revenue Scotland is responsible for the management and collection of Scotland’s devolved taxes – currently Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT).
Revenue Scotland began tax collection operations on 1 April 2015.
Revenue Scotland operates according to Adam Smith’s principles of taxation to ensure equity, certainty, convenience and efficiency in administering and managing devolved taxes.
The four principles are:
- Equity – proportionality to the ability of a taxpayer to pay;
- Certainty – maximising tax compliance, minimising tax avoidance and evasion;
- Convenience – ensuring tax systems and processes are open and accessible;
- Efficiency – ensuring tax systems are efficient and effective and represent value for money for Scotland.
Revenue Scotland has statutory powers in addition to the management and collection of the devolved taxes. These include:
- providing information, advice and assistance on tax matters for Scottish Ministers;
- providing information and assistance to taxpayers and agents;
- efficiently resolving devolved tax disputes;
- protecting tax revenue from tax fraud and avoidance.
This is Revenue Scotland’s fourth annual statistics publication summarising trends in the devolved taxes. This publication covers a six year period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2021.
During the 2020/21 financial year, like many aspects of public life, property transactions, waste disposal and hence LBTT and SLfT revenues were significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition of the annual statistics publication provides some commentary and additional context describing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the longer-term trends in devolved tax collection.
Revenue Scotland also publishes monthly official statistics on LBTT and quarterly official statistics on SLfT. More up-to-date statistics about collection of LBTT and SLfT from April 2021 onwards are available from these two publications.
Revenue Scotland’s monthly LBTT publication provides information on the LBTT declared due and number of LBTT returns received by month of submission, type of transaction (conveyance/lease/review of a lease), type of property (residential/non-residential) and total consideration. Information on the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) declared due, the number of LBTT returns received with ADS declared due and the value and number of claims for repayment of ADS received is also provided.
Revenue Scotland’s quarterly SLfT publication provides information on the SLfT declared due, declared taxable disposals by SLfT rate and contributions to the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF).
The data contained in Revenue Scotland’s monthly LBTT publication and quarterly SLfT publication are also available from statistics.gov.scot.
The purpose of this annual publication is to summarise and provide further commentary on Revenue Scotland’s official statistics publications and also to provide information that is not available in the monthly and quarterly official statistics publications, for example:
- Sub-Scotland estimates of LBTT declared due and the number of LBTT returns received
- Estimates of LBTT revenue forgone to reliefs and the number of LBTT returns received with LBTT revenue forgone to reliefs
- Taxable (SLfT) disposals by European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code.
This publication is distinct from Revenue Scotland’s Annual Report and Financial Statements. https://www.revenue.scot/about-us/publications/corporate-documents
As is the case with Revenue Scotland’s monthly LBTT publication, the LBTT data presented in this publication comes from LBTT returns and is based on the date the return was received by Revenue Scotland. Appendix A explains how data on this basis relates to data on an effective date2 basis.
Appendix B explains how Revenue Scotland’s official statistics publications relate to its Annual Report and Financial Statements.
The LBTT legislation prescribes that an LBTT return must be submitted and arrangements made for payment of the LBTT due to Revenue Scotland before the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland can proceed with registration of title. The LBTT return includes a range of information about the transaction, tax liabilities and reliefs claimed. Amendments and corrections can be made to LBTT returns up to one year following the filing date3. This may lead to revisions to the LBTT data in this publication. The vast majority of LBTT returns are submitted online via the Revenue Scotland website by agents acting on behalf of taxpayers.
Users should note that this publication is not a commentary on the volume or value of land and property transactions in Scotland. Registers of Scotland publish comprehensive property data for Scotland.
Similarly, the SLfT data presented in this publication comes from SLfT returns and is based on the period the return relates to.
A SLfT return must be submitted and arrangements made for payment of the SLfT due to Revenue Scotland by 44 days after the end of the quarter. The SLfT return includes a range of information about the tax liabilities and credits claimed, along with supplementary information on the type and amount of waste disposed of in the quarter. Amendments and corrections can be made to SLfT returns up to one year following the filing date. This may lead to revisions to the SLfT data in this publication. The vast majority of SLfT returns are submitted online via the Revenue Scotland portal.
Users should note that this publication is not a commentary on the volume of waste from all sources or volume of waste landfilled in Scotland. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency publish comprehensive waste data for Scotland.
This publication is an Official Statistics publication for Scotland. Official and National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Both undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from any political interference.
The figures and tables in this publication can be downloaded from the Revenue Scotland website.
All data were extracted as at 31 May 2021 but, in keeping with Revenue Scotland’s revisions policy, some of the data relating to earlier years has not been updated. For LBTT, only data for 2018-19 onwards has been updated (and for sub-Scotland geographies, only the most recent year was updated). For SLfT, only data from 2019-20 onwards has been updated. If you need any further information or have any comments or suggestions on how this publication or the official statistics Revenue Scotland produce can be improved then please contact us using the details below.
This publication is Crown Copyright and is released under the Open Government Licence. You are free to reuse this information provided the source is acknowledged.
2Typically the effective date of a land transaction is the date that the land transaction is completed. For further information on the effective date see the guidance published by Revenue Scotland