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  • ICAS made a major contribution to the Scottish Independence Referendum debate. We drew on the expertise of our Technical staff, committees and membership to inform discussion in key areas, including tax, pensions, regulation and the wider impact of change on the economy of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    A majority in Scotland voted to remain in the UK in the Referendum on 18 September 2014 but this process was the catalyst for debate on a new devolved settlement for Scotland. This debate was taken forward by the Smith Commission, led by former ICAS President Lord Smith of Kelvin. After a period of detailed consultation, The Smith Commission published its report on 27 November.

    ICAS made its submission to the commission during the consultation period. 

    During the referendum period ICAS contributed to the debate through a series of Technical research papers (below) and also through the hosting of debates and discussions. 

The tax implications of Scottish Independence or further devolution
  • This independent academic research, commissioned and published by ICAS, considers the tax implications relating to Scottish Independence or further devolution. This resultant report takes no view on the desirability of the various options, but rather sets out to help establish the factors that should be taken into account if change is to be achieved successfully.

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Scotland’s Tax Future - Taxes Explained
  • ICAS published the paper "Scotland’s Tax Future; Taxes Explained", which seeks to inform voters on the importance of key tax and spending numbers at the centre of the independence debate and offers straightforward and objective explanations of current tax topics.

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Inquiry into Scotland’s Economic Future Post 2014
Scotland's Pensions Future: Have Our Questions Been Answered?
  • ICAS published a report on Scotland's Pensions Future: Have Our Questions Been Answered? - calling on the Scottish Government to do more to clarify its position on the details of how pensions would be provided in an independent Scotland. 

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The General Principles of the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill
  • ICAS written evidence to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament at stage one of the consideration of the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill

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Scotland’s Pensions Future: What Pensions Arrangements Would Scotland Need?
  • Scotland’s Pensions Future: What Pensions Arrangements Would Scotland Need? - has been a major contribution to the debate on Scotland’s future, its meaning and the implications for those in Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond.

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    You may also be interested in an infographic that accompanies this report.

Response to the Scottish Government: A Consultation on Tax Management
  • ICAS published its response to the Scottish Government: A Consultation on Tax Management  

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The General Principles of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Bill
  • This submission offered ICAS members' experience and insights from the design and operation of other UK taxes.

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Tax Issues Arising from the Scotland Act 2012
  • This submission sought to summarise ICAS work so far in the area of the devolution, and potential further devolution, of tax powers to the Scottish Parliament, set out at length in two thought leadership papers above. It also provided observations on the progress achieved to date in the consultations on the devolved taxes and tax management provisions and suggested areas where resources and attention might be focused in the coming months.

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Scotland’s Tax Future: The Practicalities of Tax Devolution
  • ICAS advised that taxpayer profiling would be a vital start to understanding how any changes in allowances, tax structures, reliefs or rates would impact on total tax paid.

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Scotland’s Tax Future: What Tax System Would Scotland Want?
  • What kind of devolved tax system would be appropriate or desirable for Scotland, and what would be the foundations on which to base such a system were just some of the topics examined in this discussion paper from ICAS.

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House of Lords Select Commitee on Economic Affairs
  • ICAS submission on The Economic Implications for the United Kingdom of Scottish Independence

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  • Further Information: 

    The Smith Commission set up a website for reporting progress and gathering feedback in the ongoing constitutional debate. 

    The website includes details of the submissions to the commission from the five main Scottish political parties.

    The Scottish Government White Paper on Independence is still available for download.

    The UK Government published its fifteenth and final paper in the Scotland analysis series just before the Referendum vote, United Kingdom, United Future: Conclusions of the Scotland analysis programme.

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