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Tax verdict to be challenged

Supreme Court to decide on Rangers oldco tax case

IbroxThe Rangers tax case is due before the UK Supreme Court next month when five justices will decide whether the Employee Benefit Trust payments to players and directors were earnings or loans.

Court president Lord Neuberger will be joined by Lady Hale, Lord Carnwath and the court’s two Scottish justices, Lord Reed and Lord Hodge.

The HMRC believes the case will set a legal precedent and that confirmation that it was correct to regard the payments as earnings will discourage other companies from using such tax avoidance schemes.

Two tax tribunals, in 2012 and 2014, ruled in favour of Rangers, but three judges sitting in the Court of Session in 2015 determined that the EBT payments – made between 2001 and 2009 – were earnings and overturned those verdicts.

BDO is now challenging that verdict by Lord Drummond Young, Lord Carloway and Lord Menzies. The Supreme Court will hear the case on 15 and 16 March.

According to the Daily Record, BDO’s fees are expected to run to almost £5 million.

The new Rangers company will not be affected by the judgment which could then be challenged in the European Court of Justice.

Among the Rangers players and coaching staff who benefited from EBT payments was chairman Sir David Murray who received £6.3m.

Managers Alex McLeish and Dick Advocaat got £1.7m and £1.5m respectively. Captain Barry Ferguson received £2.5m.


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