Tax & admin · 8 December 2017

Wales tax system set to become more autonomous in April 2018

Wales copy 2
Welsh income tax rates are due to be introduced in 2019

The Welsh government and the National Assembly of Wales will become responsible for parts of the Wales tax system next April, HMRC has announced.

Welsh authorities will take greater responsibility of three major taxes in Wales; income tax, stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and landfill tax.

As of 1 April 2018, the so-called land transaction tax (LTT) will replace SDLT, and the new tax will be collected by the Welsh Revenue Authority – Wales’s version of HMRC.

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The Welsh government published tax rates and bands for LTT in October this year. Meanwhile, HMRC said it will no longer accept SDLT returns for Welsh land transactions with an effective transaction date on or after 1 April 2018.

HMRC has advised any business owner intending to buy land or property in Wales on or after 1 April to ask a conveyancer or solicitor about the arrangements for LTT.

Welsh rates of income tax are set to be introduced from 5 April 2019, and HMRC will continue to collect income tax in Wales. Once introduced, revenue from Welsh income tax rates will go to the Welsh government.

In anticipation of the changes to the Wales tax system, HMRC has advised individuals and workers in Wales to ensure the tax authority has their correct address.

Also from 1 April 2018, landfill disposals tax will replace landfill tax in Wales, and will be payable by Welsh landfill operators. The landfill disposals tax will be administered by the Welsh Revenue Authority.

HMRC’s announcement follows a change to the Wales tax system in September last year, when the Welsh government pledged that the country’s business rates would remain unchanged until at least 2018, when a newer, more permanent system would be introduced.

In a statement at the time, Welsh government secretary Mark Drakeford said: “We [The Welsh government] knows business rates can represent a high proportion of costs for small firms and that’s why we want to give them the certainty and security that this vital source of support will continue.”

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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