Principles and Obligations

There are a set of principles by which Revenue Scotland will carry out its Compliance dutues, and for taxpayers there are several obligations to adhere to in relation to the devolved taxes.

Revenue Scotland’s officers will apply the five principles set out in the Scottish Government’s ‘Better Regulation’ when carrying out compliance activity, ensuring it is:

  • carried out in a way, which is proportionate, accountable, consistent and transparent; and
  • targeted only at cases in which action is needed.

Proportionate – our activities will be appropriate to the risk posed and enforcement action will relate to the seriousness of the offence.

Accountable – our activities will be justifiable and open to public scrutiny, with clear and accessible policies and fair and efficient complaints procedure.

Consistent – our advice to those will be robust and reliable and we will respect advice provided by others. Our rules and standards will be joined up and implemented fairly.

Transparent –we will ensure that we are open and keep regulations (and how they are implemented) simple and user friendly. Taxpayers will be able to understand what is expected of them and what they can anticipate in return.


Targeted – we will focus our resources on higher risk activities. We will utilise high-quality intelligence to detect and tackle the taxpayers at higher risk of non-compliance and the situations, behaviours or activities most characteristic of non-compliance.

Taxpayers Obligations

Taxpayers have seven general duties in relation to the devolved taxes. These are:

  1. to self-assess tax due;
  2. to notify RS of any taxable activities undertaken by them;
  3. to inform RS if tax is due;
  4. to send a tax return in on time;
  5. take reasonable care to ensure that the information in a tax return is accurate;
  6. to pay any tax due; and
  7. to keep adequate records relating to tax.
Last updated: 
21 March 2015
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