As the Academy Awards demonstrated this week, things don’t always go to plan. On 15th December, Scotland’s finance secretary Derek Mackay delivered the draft budget for 2017/18, in which he proposed a higher rate tax threshold of £43,430. In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, government budget declarations don’t carry the weight of an executive order but must be agreed by a vote of the relevant parliament, where the best-laid plans of mice and ministers go oft awry.
In the case of Scottish tax bands, a resolution must be passed by Members of the Scottish Parliament. After announcing the threshold in December, the Scottish Government had difficulty getting support from a majority of MSPs, so in February it proposed a new threshold of £43,000. This was agreed by a vote of the Scottish Parliament on the 21st February.
The £43,000 figure includes the £11,500 personal allowance so the bandwidth used for payroll purposes is £31,500. The Payroll Site will be updated with the new threshold in the next few days and it applies to Scottish rate tax payers from 6th April. If you use a different payroll system and want to check it is configured correctly, you can find the updated rates and thresholds on gov.uk.