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Murray Beith Murray is a leading Scottish private client law firm.

For over 170 years we have specialised in meeting the legal, financial and administrative needs of individuals and families, family trusts, charities and private companies.

3 minutes reading time (517 words)

Are You a Scottish Taxpayer?

The simple answer will be “YES” if you reside in Scotland and therefore have a Scottish address (see more on this below).

You will pay Scottish Income Tax to the Scottish Government on sources such as:

  • Income from employment & Benefits in Kind
  • Profits from self-employment
  • Pension income from state pensions, company and personal pensions and retirement annuities
  • Rental income (unless you are a live-in landlord and receive than the rent a room limit, currently £7,500)
  • Trust income
  • Certain state benefits

In respect of income from dividends and savings, you will pay the same tax as the rest of the UK and will be entitled to the same reliefs as the rest of the UK on these sources; for example the £5,000 annual dividend allowance and the 0% savings allowance.

However, there is a difference between the tax rate bands for a Scottish taxpayer and taxpayers from the rest of the UK. The differences for the current (2017/18) tax year are illustrated below.

Band

Taxable Income Bands

Scotland

Scottish Tax Rate

Taxable Income Bands

Rest of the UK

Rest of UK

Tax Rate

Personal Allowance up to

£11,500

0%

Up to £11,500

0%

Basic Rate

£11,501 to £43,000

20%

£11,501 to £45,000

20%

Higher Rate

£43,001 to £150,000

40%

£45,001 to £150,000

40%

Additional Rate over

Over £150,000

45%

Over £150,000

45%

There is no Personal Allowance for Scottish or Rest of the UK taxpayers whose income is over £150,000. As illustrated, Scottish Taxpayers whose income is above £43,000 will pay more income tax than taxpayers from the rest of the UK.

As mentioned at the start, a Scottish taxpayer is determined by whether or not they live in Scotland, however, there are issues with HMRC’s policy on determining the residence of taxpayers. For example, if a taxpayer is temporarily living outside the UK, HMRC’s regulations state that those individuals cannot be regarded as Scottish Taxpayers.

However, unless the individual has notified HMRC of their overseas address, they will still be regarded as a Scottish Taxpayer and will therefore be liable to the Scottish rate of tax.

To ensure that an individual pays the correct income tax and is not unnecessarily subjected to the Scottish rate of tax, that individual must provide HMRC with an overseas address. For correspondence purposes, it is still possible to ask HMRC to retain a Scottish address on their files, simply as a “postal” address.

As demonstrated, the tax system continues to confuse, however, if you feel you may be affected by any of the matters mentioned above or you would like your tax position reviewed, please contact our Head of Tax, Laura Brown (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in the first instance for advice.

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