HMRC defends costs for Scots tax-varying powers

HMRC has defended itself against claims that it did not keep the Scottish government informed about the changes to computer systems needed for it to keep it tax-varying power.

The SNP government powers to raise or lower the basic rate of income tax have lapsed after it failed to meet a £7m demand for the costs of upgrading software back in August. First Minister Alex Salmond claimed it had already paid enough for the power.

Finance Secretary John Swinney accused HMRC of not responding to requests for more information on the need for further upgrade payments, but the taxman did not accept that it had acted unprofessionally.

“It was clear to the Scottish government, both before and after 2007, that there would have to be investment in SVR to maintain the position on implementation; and that this would include investment to reflect the overall changes on IT systems since 1998,” said an HMRC spokeswoman in The Times.

She also claimed that previous Scottish administrations had accepted the need pay to maintain such a function.


(Scottish Parliament picture © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2010)

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