Wales politics

Welsh property tax: 'Clear guidance urgently needed'

Houses Image copyright PA
Image caption Control of stamp duty on property sales passes to Wales in 2018

Clear guidance is "urgently" needed to explain the workings of the new tax that will replace stamp duty in Wales, a Welsh Assembly committee has said.

Powers stemming from the Land Transaction Tax bill, which also relate to tax avoidance, are set to come into effect in April 2018.

The new Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) will collect the devolved taxes.

It should work with professional bodies to clarify how they will work, the assembly's Finance Committee has said.

The Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes Bill was published in September.

In a report, the Finance Committee made 18 recommendations in relation to the bill.

The committee said it wanted clarification on how the law would affect cross-border properties, with concerns there is no definitive map of them.

'This bill should proceed'

Committee members were also worried the provisions for establishing the amount of tax due and to whom were confusing and unclear to taxpayers.

Chairman of the committee, Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas, said the issue needed clearing up as a "matter of urgency".

"While the committee has agreed this bill should proceed, we also want to see much clearer guidance from the Welsh Government as to what the land transaction tax is and how it will work," he added.

"We want to see assurances the Welsh Revenue Authority, which will be responsible for collecting taxes raised, will be ready to collect taxes and offer advice from day one."

The committee's report will be considered in a meeting of the full assembly before a vote on whether the bill can proceed to the next stage of the law-making process.

The news came after it was announced on Monday income tax rates in Wales could be varied from April 2019 as part of a deal with the UK Treasury.

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "We welcome the Finance Committee's report about the introduction of land transaction tax - we will consider the findings and respond in due course."

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