Revenue Scotland Publishes First Annual Statistics Publication

18 January 2019

Revenue Scotland has today ( Friday 18 January) published a statistical breakdown of residential Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) by local authority area for the first time since the organisation began collecting tax.

The figures are included in Revenue Scotland Statistics – Annual Summary of Trends in the Devolved Taxes, Revenue Scotland’s first annual statistics publication providing an overview of trends in the revenue from Scotland’s devolved taxes –LBTT and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT).

Chief Executive of Revenue Scotland, Elaine Lorimer, said the report marked the culmination of extensive work by Revenue Scotland to provide users of Revenue Scotland’s statistics with more detailed insight into revenue from the devolved taxes to supplement the regular monthly and quarterly statistics currently published.

She said: “The report gives a more detailed breakdown than other published information. For example the report provides an analysis of tax trends across different local authority areas, showing variations in tax revenue across geographical areas – key information which has been requested by our data users.”

“Revenue Scotland prides itself on being an open and transparent organisation and the data we release is guided by clear principles – protection of taxpayer information, transparency, accuracy, impartiality, objectivity, quality, coordination and consistency.”

She continued: “This is the first annual statistics publication from Revenue Scotland summarising trends in the performance of LBTT and SLfT over our first 3 years of operation, and we intend to now publish it each year as a way of providing insight and analysis into the devolved taxes. I hope that it proves useful to a range of individuals and organisations including the tax and legal sectors in Scotland.”

Key findings in the report include:

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)

  • LBTT (excluding additional dwelling supplement - ADS) declared due for residential conveyances has increased each year since its introduction in 2015/16 and was £260 million in 2017/18 representing an increase of £46 million (21 per cent) on the previous year. This was mainly due to an increase in average residential property prices;
  • City of Edinburgh has accounted for 30 to 33 per cent of residential LBTT excluding ADS declared due in each of the last three years. No other local authority has accounted for more than 9 per cent in any year;
  • Since 2015/16, residential LBTT excluding ADS declared due for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City has decreased by 33 and 23 per cent, respectively. This contrasts with the 29 per cent increase for Scotland as a whole;
  • LBTT from non-residential conveyances was £178 million in 2017/18, a decrease of £12 million (6 per cent) from 2015/16 but an increase of £23 million (15 per cent) on the previous year. LBTT from leases was £25 million in 2017/18. The LBTT declared due for non-residential conveyances and leases is volatile due to fluctuations in the small number of high-value transactions seen in each year.
  • It is estimated that £93 million of LBTT revenue was forgone to reliefs in 2017/18. The estimated LBTT revenue forgone to reliefs has been decreasing year-on-year (by approximately £15 million per year)

Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT)

  • Disposals of two waste streams, namely mixed municipal waste (65 to 67 per cent) and waste derived from mechanical treatment of waste (23 to 27 per cent), have accounted for the majority (88 to 94 per cent) of gross SLfT declared due each 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 document is available along with supporting material to download from the Revenue Scotland website.

The report 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.

Link to statistics news release