The Welsh Revenue Authority is encouraging law and conveyancing firms carrying out residential and non-residential property transactions in Wales from April 1, 2018, to register for its new online tax system.

The appeal comes during the WRA’s first week of registering organisations for land transaction tax, which will replace stamp duty land tax in Wales from April 1.

The WRA was set up by the Welsh Government last October to collect and manage devolved taxes.

Conveyancers and solicitors representing people buying and leasing property and land in Wales will need to register on the WRA website before filing a tax return. The WRA is encouraging businesses to sign-up at least 10 days in advance of the first transaction.

On the first day of registration, around 100 firms registered on the WRA website and a helpdesk team was set up to answer any queries. The WRA is also continuing to host events across Wales in March to offer additional support with registration.

Dyfed Alsop, chief executive for the WRA, said: “Opening registration for land transaction tax is a major milestone for the WRA, as we take a step closer towards raising important revenue that will support public services in Wales.

“Making sure the transition to the new taxes goes as smoothly as possible for everyone is a priority for us. That’s why we’re appealing to solicitors and conveyancers to register their organisations on the new tax system in advance of April 1.”

The WRA has been working with representative bodies, including The Law Society and the Chartered Institute of Taxation, to prepare professionals for land transaction tax since last October.

Kay Powell, Wales policy adviser for The Law Society, said: “Our members have played a key role in the design and development of the system and their insights and comments have been invaluable at every stage in the process. Our aim has been to ensure the seamless introduction of the Land Transaction Tax.”

The WRA will also administer landfill disposals tax replacing landfill tax. The WRA has already registered more than half of the landfill site operators in Wales, following the opening of registration at the end of January.

Among the first firms to register is Harding Evans, which is based in Newport and which carries out land transactions in Wales and England.

Wyn Williams, head of residential property at the firm, which has it's headquarters in the Baneswell area of the city centre, said: “We have a large geographical area, reaching as far as London, where we undertake conveyancing work. We will also be opening new office premises in Cardiff so our reach will be even wider.

“It has therefore been critical for us to be involved from the beginning in the design of the systems and processes for the WRA and I’m pleased to say that our comments have been taken on board through the process.

“I’ve recently been involved in system testing and I was among the first to register our company on the new registration system, which was simple to use.

“The devolution of Welsh taxes is an important milestone. Working with the WRA will be important for legal professionals, like myself, to ensure together with the WRA, we see a fair tax system delivered in Wales.”