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The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) was established in 2017, and is responsible for the collection and management of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) as well as Landfill Disposals Tax in Wales. LTT replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax in Wales on 1 April 2018, and applies when buying land or property over a certain price.

Currently, the same rules for LTT apply regardless of where the land or property is within Wales. So buyers are only asked for location information at the level of whether the land or property is in, or outside, of Wales. The WRA takes pride in creating fair, simple and efficient services, and doesn’t ask for additional data unless it has a good reason to do so.

The challenge

Future changes are being consulted on to LTT, which would allow different rates of LTT to be applied to smaller geographical areas for the first time.

To be able to deliver this, and to support the development of other future geographically varied property taxes, the WRA would need to be able to identify land and property at a more granular level than it does currently.

The WRA has staff from a variety of different organisations and sector backgrounds; several of which also hold or use land and property data in Wales. These include local authorities, HMRC, the Valuation Office, HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, Office for National Statistics, GeoPlace, amongst others. This helped an idea form: could, at the same time as exploring the potential needs for a future regional LTT rate, they work with other organisations to create something with wider benefit - something that might be the foundation for a land and property data platform across Wales?

The team

The WRA met with the Centre for Digital Public Services Wales in 2021 to discuss working together to form a team. Hosted by the WRA, it would bring in external expertise, to explore both potential future requirements for LTT, as well as the opportunities around a wider land and property data platform for Wales. We are that team.

We are a core team small, multi-disciplinary team made up of product, design, data, and tax policy specialists.

While the WRA is hosting this proof of concept, we’re not saying it will own or create a potential land and property data platform – this project is about working with other organisations who own, create or use such data, to understand all our data, requirements, and see what is possible. At this stage, we are exploring options, not predetermining outcomes, and we won’t be able to explore everything, but we might come to an idea of some known unknowns.

Keep up to date

We started a 12-week discovery phase on 17 January 2022 and plan to work according to agile methodology, and in the open.

You can subscribe to our weeknotes, or come along to our weekly Show & Tells (usually Mondays at 1.30pm). Email us to subscribe, or find out the time of our next Show & Tell and be sent the link.

We’ll share what we are working on as we go, and will summarise our findings at the end of the 12 weeks.