Stevenson brings attention to tax avoidance

Stewart Stevenson MSP.
Stewart Stevenson MSP.

An uncollected £35 billion in taxes by the UK Government was highlighted by Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, last week.

Mr Stevenson questioned John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, on how the Scottish Government would tackle the problem of tax avoidance.

Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government was determined to act decisively on avoidance of devolved taxes, adding that the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill, currently before Parliament, would enable Scotland to take robust action to counteract the issue.

Mr Stevenson said: “The general anti-avoidance rule will, of course, apply only to devolved taxes, but if Scotland had the ability, this ethos and approach could be used for a wide range of taxation issues, and ensure that less tax revenue is lost.”

Mr Swinney had said, when asked by the local MSP: “Our general anti-avoidance rule is designed to catch artificial tax-avoidance arrangements, whereas the UK approach is based on a narrow test of abuse.”