The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) reported £300m tax raised during the last financial year in its annual report, this is the first time the national revenue raising body has reported on delivery against its Corporate Plan 2019 to 2022
Established by the Welsh government back in October 2017, The WRA is the tax authority responsible for collecting and managing the first two devolved taxes in Wales: land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax.
The taxes replaced stamp duty land tax and landfill tax, respectively in Wales, from 1 April 2018.
Statistics from the Welsh Revenue Authority Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20:
• The WRA identified and returned a total of £190,000 in tax overpaid in error;
• The WRA managed 61,000 tax returns with 98.4 per cent filed digitally;
• Overall, 95 per cent of transactions were paid on time, with 87 per cent of debt cases collected within 30 days;
• The WRA generated a 3 per cent operating budget saving; and
• The WRA ranked second, for the second year running, in the Civil Service People Survey – a survey of more than 100 UK Civil Service organisations.
Managing tax risk
The WRA also continued to use its partnership approach to tax – helping people to pay the right tax at the right time – and combined it with an innovative process called ‘managing tax risk’.
The tax authority has protected between an estimated £1.2m and £1.6m over the next three years using this approach.
Managing tax risk involves using collective knowledge to identify areas where common errors may arise and actively taking steps to reduce or prevent similar errors from occurring in future.
The WRA adopted this approach with early success, by carrying out a range of activities; from education through to improving guidance and making digital improvements based on user feedback.
Kathryn Bishop, chair of the WRA, said: ‘We’re still a young organisation, but our first year delivering our first, full corporate plan has demonstrated how we’re maturing into our role and supporting the delivery of a fair tax system in Wales.
‘We’re pleased to report positive results overall, despite challenges such as coronavirus (Covid-19), which tested our resilience, as it is doing for many others across Wales. We’d like to thank all those who have continued to support us and, importantly, our people, for their commitment to service delivery which raises vital revenue for Wales.’
Dyfed Alsop, chief executive of the WRA, said: ‘From day one, we’ve taken a partnership approach to tax, helping people to pay the correct tax at the right time. This resulted in us raising £300m in tax to fund Welsh public services during the year.
‘We also introduced our own way of managing tax risk. We use this innovative approach to identify errors in tax returns and find ways to reduce or prevent the risk of further cases from happening again in future.
‘We have more to do, but we’re starting to see evidence that our way of delivering public services, which involves working together to manage tax, is proving effective.’
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