All data were extracted as at 31 May 2022 but, in keeping with Revenue Scotland’s revisions policy, some of the data relating to earlier years has not been updated. For LBTT and SLfT, only data for 2020/21 onwards has been updated (and for sub-Scotland geographies, only the most recent year was updated).
There are various data quality issues with reliefs information collected from LBTT returns in previous years, although these issues do not affect the total LBTT declared due.
The most common data quality issue affecting total revenue foregone to reliefs is that, prior to the introduction of a new electronic tax system in July 2019, 4% of taxpayers claiming reliefs incorrectly entered the value of the relief claimed as the full consideration - e.g. the total price of the property – rather than the LBTT amount that would be due without reliefs. This means that simply summing the value of reliefs claimed on tax returns would overstate the value of LBTT revenue forgone to reliefs. The LBTT revenue forgone to reliefs needs to be estimated from other information provided by the taxpayer, and hence the results presented are referred to as estimates. Full details of the methods used to produce the estimates can be found on the LBTT data requests section of the Revenue Scotland website.
From 2015/16 to 2018/19, the relief amount was estimated in this way for 10% of returns claiming a relief. Recent improvements to the tax system have reduced the need to estimate the relief amount, and in 2020/21, the relief amount was estimated for 1% of returns.
It is also worth noting that the estimates are likely to underestimate ADS (and consequently LBTT) revenue forgone to reliefs to some extent. ADS is due on most purchases of a residential property by a non-natural person, such as a company. When a full relief is claimed reducing the LBTT liability to nil, in some cases the ADS has not been declared (rather than declared and reduced to nil by relief). Therefore, although the tax position is correct, it is likely that data on reliefs for residential transactions will underestimate ADS revenues forgone. There is a similar issue where a non-residential transaction contains a mixture of residential and commercial elements (‘mixed’ property transactions are treated as non-residential transactions for LBTT). Again, the overall tax position for the relevant transactions remains correct.
Notes on LBTT returns
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 date. 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.
Notes on SLfT returns
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.
Other Data Sources
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. Nor is it a commentary on the volume or value of land and property transactions in Scotland.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency publishes comprehensive waste data for Scotland on its website.
Registers of Scotland publishes comprehensive property data for Scotland on its website.
 The relevant file is dated 11 October 2018 and named ‘LBTT – reliefs.xlsx’.