Confusion over responsibility

Scots struggle with devolved taxes – but favour car park levy

Scottish Parliament Holyrood

Scottish Parliament: still a mystery to many Scots (pic: Terry Murden)

Scots are struggling more than ever to understand how devolved tax powers work, according to the latest research.

It also found that the public is broadly in favour of both a workplace car parking tax and a tourist tax – despite Tory MSPs dubbing the workplace levy a “hated” tax.

The 2019 poll of Scottish public understanding and awareness of devolved taxes, carried out for the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT, found that 91% had little or no understanding of the definition of a Scottish taxpayer, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to 2018.

The survey also revealed that 86% think they need better information about how taxes are decided in Scotland. While this figure was broadly similar with the 84% who gave a similar response in 2018, there was a net drop of six percentage points in the number of Scots who said that the relationship between Scottish and UK taxes was ‘easy to understand’

Fewer people correctly understand that responsibility for income tax is shared between Holyrood and Westminster, down from 34% in 2018 to 26% this year. Nearly half of Scots (48%, up from 41% in 2018) now think income tax is set wholly by the Scottish Parliament

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