The latest updates across Scotland

From the Scottish Budget to the drinks deposit and return scheme, we have you covered with these concise updates

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Scottish Budget

Finance Secretary John Swinney unveiled the draft 2023/24 Budget to the Scottish Parliament just before Christmas. While the business rates poundage rate was frozen for the coming year, the government indicated that there would be reforms to the current Small Business Bonus Scheme (no detail yet).

Meanwhile, income tax rates (on earned income) for higher and top rate taxpayers in Scotland will increase by 1p. You can read our quick summary and links to resources of the Budget and some of the media coverage highlighting ACCA’s response.

Business rates revaluation

The latest non-domestic property revaluation takes effect in April 2023. Clients can check new property valuations for the purposes of rates bills via the Scottish Assessors portal. The finance secretary confirmed in the recent Budget that a transitional relief scheme would be introduced to phase changes in bills for certain ratepayers.  

Highlighting the needs of the accountancy sector in Scotland’s skills discussion

With thanks to all ACCA members who participated in our discussions about the education, skills and employment landscape in Scotland, we submitted responses to the wide-ranging reviews of qualifications and skills in Scotland just before Christmas, highlighting to the media the impact on employers and employees on fast-paced change in the workplace post-Covid.

Scottish drinks deposit and return scheme comes into force in summer 2023

Businesses which either produce or sell (off premises) drinks sold in plastic, glass or metal containers for sale in Scotland need to be aware of responsibilities under the Deposit and Return Scheme which comes into effect this summer, after a year’s delay arising from the pandemic. Drinks producers – large or small – are required to register with SEPA by 1 March 2023.

Retailers will have to comply with charging deposits on containers, though it is anticipated the requirement to take back empty containers from consumers will be further delayed for smaller retailers. We will continue to monitor implications regarding financial implications of charging for the deposit. In the meantime, please follow Circularity Scotland to find out updates and registration details for affected clients.

Short-term let licensing rules update

Just before Christmas the Scottish government advised a six month delay to new rules for those with existing short-term let properties, meaning they now have until October 2023 to apply for a licence.

Those working with clients who own accommodation which is let out on a short-term basis – eg as holiday or self-catering accommodation – should be aware that short-term let licensing is now the law in Scotland. Anyone operating such premises needs to apply for a licence from October and before April 2023. Licensing conditions and costs may vary according to local authority with some introducing additional planning requirements. Find out more in this helpful guide from the Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers.

Scottish business support update

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