One third of Scottish taxpayers are unaware of tax changes made by the Scottish Parliament

BLOG4th May 2021

6 April 2021 signalled the start of another new tax year. Perhaps an appropriate time therefore to reflect on a recent review of awareness amongst Scottish taxpayers which found that 33% of those surveyed were unaware that the Scottish Parliament had made changes to the tax system since 2015, with a more worrying 26% completely unaware that the Scottish Parliament had powers to make changes to income tax rates in Scotland. This has resulted in professional bodies calling on Scotland’s political parties to improve awareness of devolved taxes.

Scottish taxpayers pay Scottish income tax in respect of their non-savings income. The Scottish Parliament has the power to vary the rates of income tax payable and can also create new tax bands to apply to non-savings income. In contrast, Scottish taxpayers suffer tax on their savings and dividend income in exactly the same way as all other UK taxpayers. The survey suggests that a proportion of Scottish taxpayers are not aware of this difference in how their sources of income are taxed.

It’s now time for taxpayers to start thinking about the preparation and submission of their Self Assessment tax returns for the year ended 5 April 2021. Broadly, if any of these scenarios applied during the 2020/21 tax year, a Self Assessment tax return should be submitted:

  • You are self employed with an annual turnover of more than £1,000;
  • You earned more than £2,500 renting out property;
  • You have income from savings and investments of £10,000 or more before tax;
  • You have annual income of £100,000 or more before tax.

With the imminent release of 2020/21 P60s, bank interest statements, investment portfolios, etc, taxpayers should start collating all relevant information so they can complete their tax return and know their tax liability as early as possible. This will give Scottish taxpayers an opportunity to review and understand how their tax has been calculated through the devolved tax system versus the rates applicable across the UK.


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