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First Scottish tax collection system in 300 years to be approved

Finance Secretary John Swinney called the legislation "next step in Scotland's home rule journey".

Council tax

Legislation which will establish Scotland's first tax collection system for 300 years will be approved today by Holyrood.

MSPs are expected to pass a bill from the Scottish Government which will set up Revenue Scotland - the new body which will collect two newly-devolved taxes.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said as well as being the "next step in Scotland's home rule journey", the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill was a chance to establish a fairer approach.

He pledged Revenue Scotland would combat tax avoidance as "vigorously and effectively as possible".

The new tax collection agency is being established after the Scotland Act 2012 handed new tax powers to Holyrood, with the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax - which will replace stamp duty - and a new Scottish Landfill Tax coming into effect from April 1 next year.

The Bill also paves the way for a new "Scottish general anti-avoidance rule", which aims to go further than the UK Government approach.

Speaking before MSPs debate the legislation this afternoon, Mr Swinney said: "Today members of Parliament have the chance to create history by passing the Revenue Scotland Bill which will establish our first tax collection system in 300 years.

"This is the next step in Scotland's home rule journey and will offer a fresh and fairer approach which meets Scotland's needs."

He added: "I am determined that Revenue Scotland will combat tax avoidance as vigorously and effectively as possible, and the Bill contains a wide-ranging general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) which will allow Revenue Scotland to take robust counteraction against artificial tax avoidance schemes - not just the most abusive end of the spectrum."

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