Glasgow & West Scotland

HMRC to appeal against ruling in Rangers 'Big Tax Case'

The front of Rangers' Ibrox Stadium
The former Rangers Football Club was placed into administration in February

HM Revenue and Customs has said it will seek permission to appeal against a tax tribunal ruling in favour of Rangers' use of Employee Benefit Trusts.

The club, which is now in liquidation, used the scheme from 2001 to 2010 to make £47.65m in payments to players and staff in the form of tax-free loans.

HMRC had challenged the payments, arguing that they were illegal.

Rangers disputed the bill and a First Tier Tax Tribunal (FTT) ruled the scheme did not breach tax law.

In a majority decision, the tribunal said the payments - of about £49m - were loans, not earnings, and so were not liable for income tax.

The old Rangers was under the control of Sir David Murray when it began using EBTs.

He sold the club for £1 to Scottish businessman Craig Whyte in 2011, while the tax liability was in dispute.

The FTT, before three judges, concluded in January, one month before the old Rangers, now under the control of Mr Whyte, was forced into administration by HMRC over non-payment of tax totalling about £14m.

HMRC subsequently rejected proposals for a creditors agreement that would have allowed the old club to continue.

Administrators Duff and Phelps then negotiated a sale of assets to a consortium led by Charles Green for £5.5m.

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