Scottish Government ‘£100.6m short’ on LBTT predictions

David Melhuish
David Melhuish

The returns for the Scottish Government’s Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) returns in February 2017 generated the lowest LBTT revenue of any other month in 2016/17, official figures have shown.

Analysis of the Revenue Scotland figures by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) highlighted that returns were £31.9 million, down from £34.2m in January.

According to the statistics, revenue from residential LBTT increased slightly by £0.3m to £20.7m where commercial LBTT decreased to £11.2m - £2.6m less compared to January.

The Scottish Government expected to generate £538m from LBTT this tax year meaning an £121m increase on the 2015/16 outturn. Targets are still £100.6m short with just one month left in this tax year.

Additional Dwellings Supplement (ADS) were however up slightly with revenue for February totalling £7.4m compared to £7.1m in January. For the year to date £82.7m has been raised.

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “Revenue for February has been the lowest to date for LBTT which will be extremely disappointing for the Scottish Government. £100.6m still has to be raised by next month in order to meet the £538m target set at the beginning of the tax year, a figure we fear will be a struggle.

“This isn’t a great surprise as there has been a much lower level of commercial property sales but the evidence from members also tells us that the higher value residential markets continue to struggle across much of the country, so we continue to call for the 10% tax threshold to be raised from £325,000 to £500,000 in order to support greater numbers of transactions at these levels of the market.. The position for the government would be a lot worse without the new additional homes LBTT tax. Without this additional £82.7m, the LBTT figures would be even further from its predicted target.”

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