The new land transaction tax (LTT) which will replace the UK stamp duty land tax (SDLT) in Wales will be launched on 1 April 2018. The LTT marks the first new Welsh tax in almost 800 years and has moved a step closer following the passing of the Bill by the National Assembly for Wales. The Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent (when the Bill becomes an Act) in May 2017.
The legislation is broadly based on the existing SDLT legislation, however, the final announcements on tax rates and bands will not be made until 1 October 2017 and the regulations will be laid after the UK Autumn Budget. This is similar to the Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (SLBTT) which became effective in Scotland on 1 April 2015. The SLBTT operates in a similar way to SDLT but there are some key differences.
Welcoming the passing of the Bill by the National Assembly, Professor Drakeford said:
'This is a tax which affects so many of us. Once law, the Bill will enable us to introduce a land transaction tax to replace stamp duty land tax, ensuring public services in Wales will continue to benefit from the revenues raised by this important tax. We consulted widely in developing the tax and were able to learn from the devolution of the tax to Scotland. While the new tax provides consistency and stability for businesses and provides a smooth transaction for home buyers, we have been able to make a number of improvements to the tax reflecting Welsh needs and priorities.'
The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) will be in charge of collecting and managing devolved taxes in Wales initially expected to comprise the LTT and the Landfill Disposals Tax which is currently being considered by the National Assembly.