Introduction of the new Land & Buildings Transactions Tax (Stamp Duty as was) has been “operationally successful”, according to MSPs on Holyrood’s finance committee yesterday. 

L&BTT replaced stamp duty north of the border in April 2015. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay says nearly 9,700 homebuyers who would have had to pay stamp duty did not have to pay LBTT when buying a home, and that a further 41,700 paid less as a result of changes.

However, the tax raised by residential LBTT at £201.9 million was £33 million less than the £235 million which Finance Secretary John Swinney said he expected to raise in the first year.

Blair Stewart, Partner in Strutt & Parker’s Edinburgh office, said: “The LBTT residential shortfall is significant and highlights a weakness in relying on too narrow a band of high value sales.”

Commercial LBTT tax revenues came to the rescue, but Scottish government five-year L&BTT projections are critically on high value sales which have taken a hit.

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