Statistics from the year in which Scottish income tax took a sharper diversion from rUK (rest of the UK) tax rates and bands show that 8 percent of all individuals who pay income tax from employment income are subject to the Scottish taxes.
Devolution of tax occurred in 2016 and initially the powers were not utilised in their entirety by the Scottish government. The UK Treasury sets tax at a ten percent discount to the Scottish government and anything charged on top is allocated to Scotland.
Initially Holyrood set rates at exactly ten percent above rUK and there no difference was apparent between countries. The tax rate and allowances from the tax year 2017 on however were altered so the higher band of tax (40 percent) kicked in at £2,000 earlier than rUK.
In 2017 there were 31 million UK taxpayers who paid income tax on employment income. Total tax collected was £165 billion. £11 billion of this was collected from 2.5 million Scottish taxpayers, around 8% of total taxpaying individuals and 6.6% of total tax collected.
In the first year of essentially freezing their higher rate band compared to the rUK, leading to higher rate taxpayers in Scotland paying more than those across rUK, there was a 0.6% decrease in the number of Scottish taxpayers but tax paid increased by 1.8%.
In contrast, rUK tax paid increased by 3% as well as a 0.5% growth in the number of rUK taxpayers.
There were 308,000 higher rate taxpayers in Scotland in 2017 compared to 294,000 in 2016. A growth of nearly 5%. Top rate taxpayers increased by 1%, from 13,000 to 14,000.
The statistics for 2018, when they are published, will be very interesting. 2018 was the year in which Scotland introduced five tax bands with 5 separate rates of tax in order to skew the burden of tax more toward middle and higher earners.