Income Tax in Scotland

4 mins

Our experts at DSR Tax Refunds know how hard it is to find good, quality information about HMRC’s tax regulations that is easy to understand, and that’s why we have created these handy guides to tell you everything you need to know. Our aim is to make life easier for our clients and that is why we want to share our expertise with you. You can also call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust. Or you can check out our online calculator to see if you could be due a refund.
Is Income Tax different in Scotland?
There are some differences to the way you pay Income Tax if you live and work in Scotland. Firstly, it is called Scottish Income Tax and it is paid to the Scottish Government.
Just like Income Tax for the rest of the UK, you pay Scottish Income Tax on your wages, pension and most other taxable income. If you have tax to pay on dividends from shares and savings interest, you will pay the same tax as the rest of the UK.
What are the rates for Scottish Income Tax?
Just like the rest of the UK, if you live in Scotland you will have a personal tax-free allowance, which is currently £12,500 although if you pay tax at the additional rate, you don’t get a tax-free personal allowance.
The current rates of Scottish Income Tax are as follows:

Band Taxable Income Scottish Income Tax rate
Personal Allowance Up to £12,500 0%
Starter Rate £12,501 to £14,585 19%
Basic Rate £14,586 to £25,158 20%
Intermediate Rate £25,158 to £43,430 21%

In addition there are two higher rates of Scottish Income Tax. For incomes between £43,431 and £150,000 you will pay 41% and for incomes over £150,000, that rises to 46%.
Who has to pay Scottish Income Tax?
If you live in Scotland, you have to pay Scottish Income Tax. You may also be expected to pay Scottish Income Tax if you move to (or from) Scotland, live in a home in Scotland as well as one elsewhere in the UK for work purposes or don’t have a home but stay in Scotland regularly, for example, if you stay offshore or in hotels.
How do you pay Scottish Income Tax?
If you are liable to pay Scottish Income Tax, your tax code will begin with an ‘S’ – this tells your employer or pension provider that your income (wages or pension) should be taxed at the Scottish rate. So, for example, if you pay Scottish Income Tax and have the standard personal tax-free allowance, your tax code will be S1185L.
If you need to fill in and send a Self Assessment tax return, there is a box on the online form for you to tick to inform HMRC that you pay Scottish Income Tax.
What happens if you move to or from Scotland?
If you move to Scotland and live there for at least half a tax year you will have to pay Scottish Income Tax. Similarly, if you move from Scotland but have lived there for at least half a tax year you will be liable for Scottish Income Tax. You need to inform HMRC of your new address as soon as possible to make sure you’re not paying the wrong rate of tax.
The new rate of tax will be backdated to the start of the tax year in which you moved. This means that the tax which is deducted from your pension or wages will be adjusted automatically so you pay the right amount across the whole tax year.
What if you live in more than one home?
If you live in more than one home, and one of those homes is in Scotland, you need to know which one is designated to be your main home.
Your main home is usually designated to be the one you spend most of your time in. It makes no difference as far as HMRC is concerned, whether that home is rented, owned or whether you are allowed to live in the home for free – that has no bearing on determining which is your main home.
Of course, it may be that the home you consider to be your main home is the one you spend least time in, but it will still be considered to be your main home if the following apply:

So, if you work away from home for example, this might be the situation you find yourself in.
If you want to change which home is designated to be your main home, you need to contact HMRC to inform them. You can call them on 0300 200 3300 (textphone 0300 200 3319).
What if you’re not sure which is your main home?
If you really can’t tell which is supposed to be your main home, HMRC have a detailed information guide to help you decide. This includes help to determine your main home if you are a student, you don’t have a permanent home or if you are a mobile worker who has to travel a lot for your job.
How can DSR Tax Refunds help?
We aim to make life as simple as possible for our clients and that includes giving you the information you need to make your taxes (and your life) simpler and less stressful.  Our team of experts at DSR Tax Refunds are always on hand to help our clients and our excellent standing with HMRC means that we can make sure you don’t fall foul of their regulations, while claiming your maximum tax rebate. We can even take care of all that paperwork and deal with HMRC on your behalf too. Call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.
This page was last updated on 15/09/2020.

Call our experts

Let’s get started on your tax rebate or self-assessment return

You May Also Be Interested In

Our experts introduce the thorny subject of capital allowances and how to treat these in your tax return.