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CIOT responds to Scottish income tax divergence

Taxpayers on a lower income in Scotland will benefit from the changes

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has acknowledged a continued divergence between the latest Scottish income tax proposals with the policies used throughout the rest of the UK.

The body has found that those in Scotland who earn under £27,393 will pay tax less than their UK counterparts from April this year, while the situation is reversed for Scots earning over the pay threshold.

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Alexander Garden, chair of the Scottish technical committee at the CIOT, said: “The fact that Scottish taxes have been diverging from the rest of the UK since 2018 mean that there are still a number of differences that Scots should be aware of heading into the new tax year.”

According to the group’s analysis, under the Scottish Government’s income tax proposals, those on the lower level of income tax will be subject to a 19p starter tax rate, therefore representing an annual saving of £21.

However, taxpayers earning above £27,393 will be subject to “higher rates of Scottish income tax”, while workers receiving between £43,663 and £50,270 will pay a marginal tax rate of 53%, as opposed to 32% across the rest of the UK.

While a number of proposals in Scotland and the rest of the UK have been announced, such as the UK-wide tax free personal allowance, the CIOT has claimed that the full picture will remain unknown until the chancellor’s budget on 3 March.

Garden added that “until then, it’s not possible to rule out the need for further changes” to the policies before the tax year commences on 5 April.

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