The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) takes a significant step closer to collecting and managing devolved taxes in Wales, as its board meets for the first time.
There are less than 6 months to go before the first Welsh taxes in almost 800 years – land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax – are introduced in Wales. Both taxes will be collected by the WRA when they are introduced on 1 April 2018.
The first meeting of the WRA’s board today in Treforest, is a significant milestone in the establishment of the new organisation, which is the first non-ministerial department to be created in Wales.
The board discussions will concentrate on the legal establishment of the WRA and its governance arrangements. Over the coming months the focus will shift to the development of the WRA’s functions and its relationship with its customers, in particular the development of the Taxpayer’s Charter.
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford announced the appointment of 5 non-executive board members and the WRA’s chief executive Dyfed Alsop, last month.
Kathryn Bishop, chair of the Welsh Revenue Authority, said:
“Taxpayers will want guidance as the new Welsh taxes are introduced and reassurance that the collection process is efficient and secure. The organisation is already working hard on this, bringing in expertise from elsewhere in Wales and in the UK.”
Commenting on what customers can expect from the WRA, Mr Alsop said:
“I want to build an organisation that is confident in delivery and inspires confidence from the people who will use it. The WRA will work in partnership with taxpayers and tax professionals, supporting them in paying tax.
“On a practical level, we’re creating a new digital organisation without a paper based history. We don’t have legacy IT systems or contracts and we also don’t have an existing cultural reputation. I’d hope this means we can shape the new organisation to respond to meet the needs of the people of Wales.”
Over the course of the next 6 months, future customers of the WRA should continue to direct any queries about taxes to HMRC – this includes stamp duty land tax and landfill tax.
All updates about land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax, which will replace stamp duty land tax and landfill tax from April 2018, including guidance for the new taxes, will be published on the new WRA website. Customer registration to the tax system will be available from early 2018.
It will deliver Welsh Ministers’ tax policy and follow the strategic direction set by them but will be operationally independent.
For further information about the implementation of the WRA, contact WRAimplementation@gov.wales.