§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people whose main place of residence in the United Kingdom is in Scotland, but who are exempt from payment of income tax as they work overseas and are resident in the United Kingdom for 90 days or less each year, have been exempted from payment of(a) all and (b) part of their community charge; and if he will make a statement on his Department's advice to local authorities in these circumstances.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
There is no provision which exempts a person from any of the community charges by reason of his being exempt from income tax in the United Kingdom through living abroad. A person's liability for the personal community charge in Scotland depends upon whether that person is solely or mainly resident in Scotland. This is determined by the community charges registration officer for the appropriate regional or islands council area on the basis of the facts and circumstances of each case. A person has a right of appeal against the registration officer's decision. A person who is resident abroad may be liable for the standard community charge if he owns or is the long-term tenant of a property which is nobody's sole or main residence. The decision about whether a standard community charge liability arises is again for the registration officer and again there is a right of appeal. My right hon. and learned Friend has not issued guidance to registration officers on how they should act in respect of particular cases, nor would it be appropriate for him to do so. It is for individuals to appeal against the registration officer's decisions if they disagree with those decisions.