Revenue Scotland annual stats summary shows Scottish capital accounts for majority of residential LBTT declared due

24 January 2020

24 January 2020

The City of Edinburgh has accounted for between 30 and 33 percent of residential Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) excluding Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) declared due in Scotland every year since collection of the fully devolved tax began.

Since April 2015, the Scottish capital has seen LBTT (excluding ADS) declared due from residential sales at more than three times that of other local authorities, with no other region accounting for more than 9 percent in any one year.

The figures are highlighted in the Annual Summary of Trends in the Devolved Taxes 2018-19, published today by Revenue Scotland to give an insight into the performance trends of LBTT and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) since tax operations began in April 2015.

The publication also highlighted that:

  • Residential house sales accounted for 65 percent of the £566 million in LBTT declared due in Scotland in 2018-19;
  • Non-residential sales accounted for £169 million, or 30 percent, while leases accounted for £30 million, or 5 percent;
  • On disposals of waste to landfill, the report highlighted that Standard rate disposals for SLfT have decreased by 220,000 tonnes, or 12 percent, since 2015-16.

Revenue Scotland Chief Executive Elaine Lorimer highlighted the importance of the statistics publication in being able to provide an accurate and objective overview of longer term trends in Scotland’s devolved taxes.

She said: “This is Revenue Scotland’s second annual statistics publication and the detailed insights into longer-term LBTT and SLfT performance will be of interest to a wide range of people and organisations including individual taxpayers and agents, accountancy and property firms, environmental organisations, government and local authorities.”

“Our statistics team are part of the UK-wide accredited network of statisticians – guided in the work they do by clear principles of transparency, accuracy, quality and consistency, while at all times protecting taxpayer information.”

Other key findings in the report include:

  • A total of 120,300 LBTT returns were received in 2018/19 – 103,800 for residential conveyances, 7200 for non-residential conveyances and 5200 for leases. A further 4200 were for lease reviews (three-year reviews, assignations and terminations);
  • Net SLfT declared due was £141 million in 2018/19, representing a decrease of £5 million (4 percent) on the previous year


Revenue Scotland is a Non-Ministerial Department responsible for the management and collection of Scotland’s devolved taxes – currently Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT).

The tax authority operates according to Adam Smith’s principles of taxation to ensure equity, certainty, convenience and efficiency in administering and managing devolved taxes.

The four principles:

  • Equity – proportionality to the ability of a taxpayer to pay;
  • Certainty – maximising tax compliance, minimising tax avoidance and evasion;
  • Convenience – ensuring tax systems and processes are open and accessible;
  • Efficiency – ensuring tax systems are efficient and effective and represent value for money for Scotland.

The full report is available along with supporting material to download from the Revenue Scotland website.

It includes an appendix detailing how the numbers in the statistics publication relate to the accounting figures reported in Revenue Scotland’s Annual Report and Financial Statements.