Using the UPRN to improve collection of Land Transaction Tax in Wales

By Richard Duffield, Senior Consultant at GeoPlace. A Welsh version is available below.

In Wales, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) replaced stamp duty from April 2018. The tax is used to support public services in Wales, so it is important to government, to citizens and business as property buyers, users of public services and taxpayers that the LTT process is both quick and accurate.

When a tax transaction is notified to the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), its digital system attempts to assign the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) for the property from AddressBase Premium. This means that the accuracy of the tax transactions can be checked and can  be more easily cross-referenced to other UPRN-linked datasets. For example, if a Land Transaction Tax (LTT) transaction on a property is assessed at non-residential rates, then a check of the commercial nature of the property can be made against the classification of the property listed in AddressBase Premium.

Llangollen, along the river Dee in North Wales

The assignment of UPRNs to tax transactions is achieved by entering a postcode into the digital system.  This uses Ordnance Survey’s OS Places web service to download the UPRN associated with an address chosen from a returned list for that postcode.

However, it is possible that an incorrect UPRN is returned, for example where a user chooses a wrong address by mistake from the returned address list and then manually changes it. In these cases, the UPRN from the original selection stays ‘live’ in the system, creating problems later in the process. Alternatively, the system allows people to enter their addresses manually at the start of a process, in which case no call at all is made to the OS Places service and as a result no UPRN is linked.

WRA wanted to audit its data to identify which UPRNs were missing or incorrect, and to fix them where necessary.

The solution

Using GeoPlace’s bureau address data matching service, the WRA was able to match virtually all of its existing address data to the authoritative UPRNs, filling in the blanks where necessary. This led to an overall increase in correctly identifying UPRN referenced addresses. WRA now have increased confidence in the UPRNs and the ability to check data for property level matches in subsequent data analysis.

This process has saved money in the short term by avoiding the need for a potentially expensive fix to the digital system to handle the issue of selecting the wrong address. GeoPlace has also provided additional characteristics of the properties alongside the UPRNs to enable the WRA to derive more value from the process.  Instead of making additional calls to the OS Places service, the correct building classification data is now taken straight from AddressBase Premium.  And as the data are now stored directly WRA’s own databases, there has been a reduction in some of the manual steps involved.

Cwmtwrch, a village in the valley of the Afon Twrch, a right-bank tributary to the Swansea Valley, Wales, about 15 miles north of Swansea

The results

UPRNs are a valuable tool for identifying properties and making authoritative connections between disparate databases containing property information. Now that the source data is matched and cleansed, a simple query can be used to establishes the building classification of a property – which is useful in checking the accuracy of a tax return. Correlations between disparate data sets such as asset lists and, for example, the register of landlords in Wales, can help verify that the right type of tax return is being submitted.

With the benefit of UPRN-matched addresses at the heart of its system now, WRA has already identified tax errors that should lead to recovery of unpaid taxes in excess of the cost of GeoPlace’s matching service.

If you’d like to find out more, contact Richard.Duffield@GeoPlace.co.uk.

Chepstow city centre

Defnyddio’r Rhif Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw (UPRN) i wella casglu Treth Trafodiadau Tir yng Nghymru

O Ebrill 2018, daeth y Dreth Trafodiadau Tir (TTT) i gymryd lle’r Dreth Stamp yng Nghymru. Mae’r dreth yn cael ei defnyddio i gefnogi gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yng Nghymru, felly mae’n bwysig o ran y llywodraeth, dinasyddion a busnesau fel prynwyr eiddo, defnyddwyr gwasanaethau cyhoeddus a threthdalwyr bod y broses TTT yn gyflym a chywir.

Pan fo Awdurdod Cyllid Cymru (ACC) yn derbyn hysbysiad ynghylch trafodiad treth, mae’r system ddigidol yn mynd ati i bennu Rhif Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw (UPRN) ar gyfer yr eiddo o AddressBase Premium. Drwy hyn mae modd gwirio cywirdeb y trafodiadau treth, ac mae modd trawsgyfeirio yn haws i setiau data eraill sydd wedi eu cysylltu â’r UPRN. Er enghraifft, os yw trafodiad Treth Trafodiadau Tir (TTT) ar eiddo yn cael ei asesu ar gyfraddau amhreswyl, yna mae modd gwirio natur fasnachol yr eiddo yn erbyn dosbarthiad yr eiddo sydd wedi ei restru ar AddressBase Premium.

Mae’r broses o aseinio Rhif Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw (UPRN) i drafodiadau treth yn digwydd drwy fwydo cod post i’r system ddigidol. Mae gwe-wasanaeth OS Places yr Arolwg Ordnans yn cael ei ddefnyddio i lawrlwytho‘r UPRN sy’n gysylltiedig â chyfeiriad a ddewiswyd o restr a ddychwelwyd ar gyfer y cod post hwnnw.

Fodd bynnag, mae’n bosib i UPRN anghywir gael ei ddychwelyd, er enghraifft ble mae defnyddiwr yn dewis cyfeiriad anghywir mewn camgymeriad o’r rhestr o gyfeiriadau a ddychwelwyd, ac yna yn ei newid â llaw. Yn yr achosion hyn, mae’r UPRN o’r detholiad gwreiddiol yn parhau’n ‘fyw’ yn y system, gan beri problemau yn hwyrach ymlaen yn y broses. Fel arall, mae’r system yn caniatáu i bobl fwydo’r cyfeiriadau â llaw ar ddechrau’r broses, ac felly nid oes unrhyw alw ar wasanaeth OS Places, ac o ganlyniad nid yw’r un UPRN yn cael ei gysylltu.

Roedd ACC am gynnal arolwg o’i ddata i adnabod pa Rifau Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw oedd ar goll neu’n anghywir, a’u cywiro lle bo angen.

Yr ateb 

Gan ddefnyddio biwro gwasanaeth paru data cyfeiriadau GeoPlace, bu modd i ACC baru fwy neu lai’r holl ddata presennol o gyfeiriadau gyda’r Rhifau Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw awdurdodol, gan lenwi’r bylchau lle bo angen. Arweiniodd hyn at gynnydd cyffredinol mewn adnabod yn gywir gyfeiriadau drwy UPRN. Bellach mae gan ACC fwy o hyder yn y Rhifau Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw, a’r gallu i wirio data paru eiddo mewn dadansoddiadau data dilynol. 

Mae’r broses hon wedi arbed arian yn y tymor byr drwy osgoi’r angen i ganfod datrysiad drud o bosib ar gyfer y system ddigidol i fynd i’r afael â’r broblem o ddewis cyfeiriad anghywir. Mae GeoPlace hefyd yn cynnig nodweddion ychwanegol am eiddo ochr yn ochr â’r Rhifau Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw gan olygu bod yr ACC yn cael mwy o werth o’r broses. Yn hytrach na gwneud galwadau pellach i’r gwasanaeth OS Places, mae’r data cywir am ddosbarthiad yr adeilad yn dod yn syth o AddressBase Premium. Ac am fod y data yn cael ei storio erbyn hyn ar gronfeydd data’r ACC, bu gostyngiad yn rhai o’r camau sydd i’w gwneud â llaw.  

Y canlyniadau

Mae Rhifau Cyfeirnod Eiddo Unigryw (UPRN) yn offeryn gwerthfawr o ran adnabod eiddo a gwneud cysylltiadau awdurdodol rhwng gwahanol gronfeydd data sydd yn dal gwybodaeth am eiddo. Nawr bod y data craidd wedi ei baru a’i lanhau, mae modd defnyddio ymholiad syml i sefydlu dosbarthiad adeilad ar gyfer eiddo – sydd yn ddefnyddiol wrth wirio cywirdeb ffurflen dreth. Gall cydberthyniadau rhwng setiau data gwahanol megis rhestrau asedau ac, er enghraifft, y gofrestr o landlordiaid yng Nghymru, helpu i wirio bod y ffurflenni treth cywir yn cael eu dychwelyd.

Gyda chyfeiriadau wedi eu paru â’r UPRN bellach yn ganolog i’w system, mae ACC eisoes wedi adnabod gwallau treth a ddylai arwain at adfer trethi heb eu talu tu hwnt i gost gwasanaeth paru GeoPlace.  

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