Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business
Today I am laying the Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Bill, together with the Explanatory Memorandum, before the National Assembly for Wales.
The purpose of the Bill is to establish the legal framework necessary for the future collection and management of devolved taxes in Wales, which are due to start in April 2018.
The Bill provides for the establishment of the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) and confers powers and duties to enable it to collect and manage devolved taxes. Corresponding duties and rights are conferred on taxpayers.
These include the submission of tax returns and the duty to keep records by taxpayers, and the carrying out of enquiries and assessments by the WRA to determine the amount of devolved tax due. The WRA will have comparable powers to other UK tax authorities so that its functions can be undertaken consistently and comprehensively.
The Bill also provides that the Welsh Ministers may prescribe to whom the WRA may delegate its functions. I announced my preferred way forward on who should collect and manage devolved taxes on 30 June.
Finally, the Bill includes comprehensive civil investigation and enforcement powers and makes provision for the conferral on WRA of criminal investigation and enforcement powers. This includes powers allowing WRA to require information and to access and inspect premises. Alongside this, there are duties on taxpayers to pay penalties and interest in certain circumstances.
The approach to this Bill, and the preparatory work on developing proposals for the devolved taxes, underlines the commitment of the Government to working with business to create a world class economy, supported by a first-class system of public services. Critically, the development of our tax arrangements , has followed the Welsh Government’s key tax principles:
- Supporting jobs and growth
- Stability and certainty
I believe that the Bill we are introducing today enshrines these principles and I look forward to working with the Assembly on the provisions of the Bill during scrutiny over the coming months.
Further information about the Bill is available in a factsheet.