Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 2:15 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of The Duke of Montrose The Duke of Montrose Conservative 2:15 pm, 15th March 2012

My Lords, this is the type of complication that we are talking about. In fact, the way the Bill is at the moment, it will practically be a question of where you spend the night. There are commuters from Glasgow or Edinburgh to London, and a variety of public office holders, who may have a place of residence in Scotland yet work for considerable periods in England or Wales, such as Members of the House of Lords, who are not included in new Section 80D(4), or Supreme Court judges. If a clause such as this remains, should the Bill not contain an obligation for each individual to state what he regards as his main place of residence?

New Section 80E also highlights the issue of split-year residences. Unfortunately I just missed the debate immediately preceding this, but I thought that my noble friend Lord Forsyth would cover the point. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs currently applies, in extra-statutory concession A11, split-year treatment to individuals who spend only part of the tax year resident in the United Kingdom. The concession means that, for example, an employee who comes to the UK for a secondment beginning on 1 June would be regarded as a non-UK resident and therefore non-taxable in the UK on his or her general earnings from the same employment for the period from 6 April to 31 May in that year.

The Law Society of Scotland questions whether setting up the provisions of new Sections 80D, 80E and 80F will require the creation of a similar extra-statutory concession. It would seem more sensible to create a robust system that does not rely on extra-statutory concessions in order for it to work-one whose fundamental architecture takes account of movement of people within the United Kingdom, and therefore within different tax zones, in one tax year.

The provisions will need some amendment to deal with changes the residence status of a number of categories of employee-perhaps the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Maxton, comes into this category-including those working on board ships or oil rigs who are neither UK resident nor employed by UK employers. There will be another issue with members of the Armed Forces, where it seems inevitable that members of the same unit will end up being taxed differently. I beg to move.