England & Scotland to split tax rates, leaving UK taxpayers unaware which rate to apply

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Scotland will be introducing its own rate of income tax next year, but it seems that only a small minority of the UK taxpayers are aware of its conditions, as revealed by a HM Revenue & Customs research.
The Scottish Rate of Income Tax (or SRIT) was introduced in the Scotland Act 2012 and will come into effect in April 2016. However, the numbers of those still unaware about the SRIT among UK taxpayers, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK remain high, according to a recent research on behalf of the HMRC.

A quantitative study of nearly 2,000 taxpayers confirmed the low level of awareness. Many participants in this phase expressed surprise that they had not known that a major change to income tax was happening. Awareness was more mixed among employers, with larger organisations typically more aware than small- and medium-sized firms. Payroll agents generally demonstrated detailed understanding, as did pension providers.

Scottish taxpayers also said they expected to have significant difficulty understanding how much the new tax would cost them, when the rates were finally announced.

Moira Kelly, Chair of the CIOT’s Scottish Technical Sub-Committee, stated:

‘There is no better cure for obliviousness than publicity, which will be critical in the run-up to April next year when the Scottish Parliament will implement the SRIT, affecting the rates of income tax applicable to non-savings income of Scottish taxpayers”.

The research was conducted by Ipsos MORI in two stages: between May and August 2014, and again between October 2014 and March 2015.