Air Departure Tax FAQs

Frequently asked questions on Air Departure Tax.

Air Departure Tax FAQs



1.01 What is Air Departure Tax (ADT)?

Air Departure Tax (ADT) is a tax payable by aircraft operators on the carriage of passengers on aircraft departing airports in Scotland.  Certain tax exemptions will apply, and these are expected to be confirmed as part of the parliamentary legislative process. The tax will replace UK Air Passenger Duty (UK APD) in Scotland from 1 April 2018.

1.02 How will the tax be collected and managed?

Revenue Scotland will be responsible for collecting and managing ADT, and will build on successful delivery of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT). Continuing the digital approach, we will be promoting online registration and returns, as well as electronic payment as the most efficient, convenient and secure way for taxpayers to fulfill their obligations. At present, over 98% of returns for LBTT and SLfT are made online.

1.03 How does ADT differ from UK Air Passenger Duty (APD)?

The Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill provides for a tax that is broadly similar to UK APD. A key difference is that ADT returns will be made quarterly, rather than monthly. The biggest practical differences will be in the approach Revenue Scotland takes in collecting and managing the tax, which will be built round an online system.

1.04 When will registration for the tax start?

Registration for the tax will get underway in February 2018, prior to the introduction of ADT on 1 April 2018.

1.05 Will operators that are exempt from ADT still have to register and submit nil returns?

The tax is only applied to aircraft operators carrying chargeable passengers on a chargeable aircraft, so any operator without a chargeable aircraft will not need to register for the tax or make a return.

1.06 Do operators have to advise Revenue Scotland if they no longer plan to fly from Scottish airports?

Yes, if an operator is registered for the tax and to make quarterly returns no longer plan to make flights from Scottish airports, they will be required to advise us within 30 days of the decision to no longer operate. Doing so helps us maintain our register and prevent us approaching you for a tax return unnecessarily.

1.07 How often must a return be submitted?

The provisions in the Bill require aircraft operators to make quarterly returns. However, for operators making infrequent (i.e. non-scheduled) flights, there is the option of making occasional returns (on a flight-by-flight basis).

1.08 How can I submit an ADT return?

The simplest and quickest method will be to submit the return through Revenue Scotland’s online SETS platform. This is the system that has been used for making 98% of returns for the other devolved taxes since April 2015. Over the coming months, we will be developing the portal for ADT, and would welcome input from operators to support this. An option to make returns via the postal system using paper return forms will also be available.

1.09 How can I make a payment of ADT?

Tax payments must be made at the same time as returns are made.  Revenue Scotland will accept a range of payment methods for ADT including BACS, CHAPS and direct debits. Occasional operators will have the option to pay by debit or credit card. Guidance on payments and returns will be made available on the Revenue Scotland website before ADT is introduced.

1.10 Are aircraft operators able to make a change to an ADT return once it has been submitted?

Yes, returns can be amended at any time within 12 months after the filing date. Amendments to returns can be done within the SETS platform which will record and store any changes that are made.

1.11 When will operators be charged a penalty or interest on ADT??

Operators may be charged a penalty or interest in respect to a number of aspects of ADT. These include, but are not limited to: failure to register for the tax; failure to provide a fiscal representative (where necessary); failure to make a return, making a late return or inaccuracies on a return(s).

1.12 How will ADT information be stored??

Information submitted online through our SETS portal will be stored securely within the system. Any returns provided on paper will be scanned onto the system.

1.13 Will aircraft operators be required to appoint a Fiscal Representative??

Operators without a fixed base in the European Economic Area will have to appoint a fiscal representative who is jointly and severally liable for the tax. Other aircraft operators may choose to appoint a fiscal representative if they wish. Revenue Scotland may also require airlines to appoint fiscal representatives under certain other conditions.

1.14 Will there be an option to submit returns as an agent on behalf of an operator??

Yes. For organisations providing for example, flight support services, returns can be made on behalf of an operator.






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