Glasgow & West Scotland

BDO seek to appeal Rangers tax case decision over use of EBTs

Ibrox Stadium Image copyright SNS Group
Image caption The case concerns the use of Employee Benefit Trusts

Rangers' liquidators BDO are seeking leave to appeal a decision that the club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) broke tax rules.

Rangers used the scheme from 2001 until 2010 to give millions of pounds of tax-free loans to players and other staff.

HM Revenue and Customs said these were salary payments and subject to tax.

HMRC lost two tax tribunals before winning its case at the Court of Session earlier this month. Any appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court.

Announcing its decision, BDO said: "Following discussions with the company's legal advisers and the liquidation committee, the joint liquidators have filed an application seeking leave to appeal the Inner House of the Court of Session decision in respect of the EBT case.

"If the company successfully obtains leave to appeal, the appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court in London.

"The joint liquidators are not in a position at this stage to make any further comment in respect of the appeal."

'Big tax case'

Rangers' use of EBTs and the subsequent appeals by HMRC have become known as the "big tax case".

HMRC lost its initial appeal that tax was due on EBTs at a First Tier Tax Tribunal on 2012.

The decision was upheld at an Upper Tier Tribunal in 2014.

HMRC's third appeal, made earlier this year, was upheld in a decision issued earlier this month by Lord Carloway, sitting with Lord Menzies and Lord Drummond Young.

The judges ruled that if income was derived from an employee's services, in their capacity as an employee, it was an emolument or earnings and "thus assessable to income tax".

The decision was in relation to Murray Group companies, including the liquidated company RFC 2012 - formerly The Rangers Football Club PLC.

It has no impact on the current owners at Ibrox.

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